Vancouver, B.C.- Last week, the federal government, under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative Transportation Infrastructure Fund, announced an investment of a total of up to $20.9 million in five shortsea shipping projects and two road projects in the British Columbia Lower Mainland. This represents a potential $43.5-million joint investment with private sector transportation service providers and municipalities in the region.
These projects will establish a network of complementary shortsea shipping services in the Lower Mainland that will contribute to the integrated and efficient movement of international trade. These services will help reduce road congestion between river terminals and deep-sea terminals, increase throughput capacity at marine terminals, develop new transportation options, and increase overall system capacity for trade between Asia and North America.
“Better use of our waterways through shortsea shipping can help alleviate congestion, facilitate trade, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase overall transportation efficiency,” said Lawrence Cannon, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities.
Shortsea shipping is a multimodal activity that incorporates the marine movement of cargo between points that are relatively close to one another without crossing an ocean, such as along rivers and coastlines, and within lakes. The following shortsea shipping projects and service providers were selected following a call for proposals:
– Fraser River Shuttle (up to $5 million contribution to Coast 2000 Terminals);
– Deltaport Shortsea Berth (up to $2.35 million contribution to TSI Terminal Systems);
– Vanterm Shortsea Berth (up to $1.95 million contribution to TSI Terminal Systems);
– Mountain View Apex Container Terminal (up to $7 million contribution to Seaspan International); and
– Southern Railway of B.C. Rail Barge Ramp (up to $4.6 million contribution to Southern Railway of B.C.).
These projects call for the development of specialized facilities such as docks, ramps, and fixed-crane infrastructure that would facilitate shortsea shipping of a variety of cargos (including containers, railcars, and break-bulk cargos) that ultimately either originate from or are destined for Asia. The private sector service provider will match the federal funding.
In addition to the shortsea shipping projects, the following road projects will also be undertaken:
– The City of Richmond will receive up to $750,000 in funding for the construction of a new four-lane section between Wireless Way and Highway 91, to improve traffic flows and facilitate access to Highway 91 and Knight Street.
– The Corporation of Delta will receive up to $1.1 million in funding for left turn lanes along Nordel Way at Brooke Road and Shepherd Way.
Transport Canada is also working with public and private stakeholders to identify infrastructure projects that could accommodate and enhance the growth of the marine terminals around the north and south shores of Burrard Inlet, while addressing community and environmental concerns. Investments could include rail improvements, road/rail grade separations, and road projects.