Prince Rupert Port Authority announced the completion of the Port’s $90-million Road, Rail & Utility Corridor (RRUC), unlocking new terminal developments and market access for Canadian exporters. Representatives of the Port Authority were joined by project funding partners – the governments of Canada and British Columbia ($15 million each), Canpotex ($15 million) and CN ($30 million) – at an event held on the Ridley Island Industrial Site, where the last rail spike of the $90-million project was driven.

The completed RRUC was constructed over a two-year period with the contracted expertise of two local joint ventures, and supports multiple new large-scale terminal developments that will boost Canada’s trade capacity with fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets. The project includes the construction of five parallel rail tracks, a two-lane roadway, and a port-owned power distribution system along an eight-kilometre corridor. This shared-use infrastructure defines a long-term port development plan for Canadian export terminals that will provide the capacity to ship potash, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other Canadian products to international markets. The RRUC will ensure that growth can be accommodated by a sustainable, efficient, coordinated platform.

“The success of this project exemplifies what can be accomplished when a strategic, long-term vision is executed by a partnership of public and private investment,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The RRUC will expand the diversity of Prince Rupert’s growing port complex and further link Western Canada to a world of opportunity.”

Construction on the Road, Rail and Utility Corridor created employment opportunities for over 100 people, many of them from communities in the region, providing training for skills that are already being applied in additional port expansion. Prince Rupert Constructors, a joint venture between Coast Tsimshian Enterprises (a local First Nations firm), JJM Construction Ltd., and Emil Anderson Construction Inc., completed roughly 75 per cent of the work on the RRUC. Coast Industrial Construction, a partnership between ICON Construction and the Gitxaala Nation (Kitkatla), was responsible for the remaining quarter of construction.

Port of Prince Rupert’s development plan is based on a goal of reaching an annual throughput capacity of 100 million tonnes of cargo as proposed terminal developments are completed over the next decade. Much of that forecasted growth is dependent on the introduction of additional infrastructure on Ridley Island to realize its development potential, minimize use conflicts between potential terminal developments, and maximize the industrial footprint of the lands under the Port Authority’s jurisdiction.

Michael Cory, CN Senior Vice-President, Western Region, said: “Completion of the Road, Rail and Utility Corridor is the result of a positive cooperation between governments and the private sector and will allow future terminals on a larger Ridley Island site.” Canpotex President and CEO Steve Dechka said, “Congratulations to the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the Tsimshian First Nations, Canadian National Railway Company, the federal and provincial governments and local communities on their exemplary work on the construction of the first phase of the RRUC. Canpotex is pleased to have contributed $15 million to such an important project to the Prince Rupert community and to the transportation capacity of western Canada. The collective commitment and the excellent work of everyone who has contributed has meant that the RRUC is already delivering benefits to the community and the economy of Prince Rupert and British Columbia.”