Terminal Modernization Pointe-aux-Basques
The Pointe-aux-Basques Terminal was built in 1950 and has been an intermodal facility since its inception. It is the port of entry for northbound freight and the main terminal for passengers and goods travelling to and from the isolated villages of the Basse-Côte-Nord.
The project will bring Pointe-aux-Basques Terminal facilities up to standard to meet today’s rising demand for short sea shipping to high-potential markets and to diversify the goods handled.
The updated terminal will consolidate existing traffic, cementing the position of the Port of Sept-Îles as the gateway for northern development projects with its expanded intermodal capacity. It will also significantly curb GHG emissions by providing alternatives to heavy truck transport on Route 138.
The Port of Sept-Îles received $6.7 million from the federal government through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) and another $6.7 million from Quebec’s Ministère des Transports under its PSIITM (Programme de soutien aux investissements dans les infrastructures de transport maritime). The total covers two-thirds of the $20 million project cost. The Port of Sept-Îles will cover the remaining third.
A call for tenders went out for design-built project delivery, and the winning bid was by LFG Construction/Construction RIC, which will design and deliver the project according to contract specifications.
Work will begin in mid-May 2020 and should be substantially completed by fall 2020. The contractor will have spring 2021 to finish up (asphalt overlay and paving).
The work mainly comprises giving the existing wharf a new front of pilings and sheet piles, replacing the upper tie rods, upgrading the fenders and mooring system, extending the front by backfilling to the existing jetty, and redoing the terminal surface. Pilings and sheet piles will be driven using vibratory hammers.
A security perimeter will be set up around the construction site, and the area will be closed to the public until spring 2021.
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Additional specific mitigation measures will also be taken to ensure that the project complies with all applicable environmental standards and permit requirements. The following is a partial list of those requirements:
- Vibratory hammers will be used to drive pilings and sheet piles in order to reduce noise levels.
- A cetacean exclusion zone will be in effect while vibratory pile driving is going on. This measure means that the work will immediately halt if a cetacean is spotted inside the zone, i.e., within 600 metres of where pile-driving is being done. Work may resume only 30 minutes after the last cetacean has left the zone.
- Pile-driving operations will be monitored at all times by a trained spotter to ensure that the cetacean exclusion zone is maintained.
- Pile-driving operations will not take place on days with high waves or after dark.
- Welds will be inspected to ensure formworks are watertight before pouring begins.
- Concrete work will be supervised at all times to ensure that environmental requirements are met and any incidents dealt with quickly.
- Excavated fill will be laid out in piles for environmental characterization as required by law to ensure that only high-quality soils are used for backfill. If contamination is found, the contaminated soil will be taken to an authorized soil treatment site to be sorted and transferred to the appropriate facilities. Asphalt waste will be recycled.
- All necessary measures will be taken to prevent sediment and construction material dispersal. This includes measures to control runoff and leaching.
- A spill response procedure will be established and explained to workers when the site opens. In the event of a spill, the procedure will be applied immediately and meticulously. The incident will be reported to the proper authorities without delay.
- A spill emergency kit will be kept on the site at all times. It must include the equipment and materials needed to contain an accidental hydrocarbon leak or spill.
- Construction vehicles and construction machinery will be kept in good working condition and inspected daily to prevent oil or fuel leaks.
- Machinery used near the shoreline will use biodegradable oils that are nontoxic for aquatic environments.
- Vehicles will only use designated routes identified as such.
- Truck boxes will be kept covered with a tarp when carrying granular material in order to limit the dispersion of dust that might disturb other road users.
- Heavy-duty vehicles and road vehicles will be properly maintained to minimize exhaust gas emissions. The use of recent and low-emission vehicles will be preferred.
- Vehicle idling will be prohibited except under exceptional circumstances requiring special approval.
- Hazardous waste materials (HWM) will be stored as per regulatory requirements. HWM (empty containers, dirty rags, contaminated soil, waste oils, etc.) will be managed separately from other waste. All HWM will be put in labelled leakproof containers and stored in a designated weatherproof and spill-proof cargo container, which will be a reasonable distance (30 m) from any body of water, drainage ditch, sump, or other sensitive feature.
- A waste reduction plan will be in place to prioritize options according to the 3Rs of waste management, in order of preference: reduce, reuse, and recycle. There will be containers for sorting construction waste. The main types of recyclables are aluminum, paper (including cardboard), plastic, and glass. There should be separate cargo containers used for metals to promote reclamation.