‘Squirrel’ finishes Metro Vancouver water tunnel to Surrey

Tunnel boring machine emerges from beneath Fraser River

‘Squirrel’ has finished its job of burrowing a hole under the Fraser River between Coquitlam and Surrey.

The massive tunnel boring machine deployed by Metro Vancouver to drill a water supply tunnel to serve the South Fraser area was hauled out of the river last Friday.

That ends the critical stage of the $240-million project, which will double the regional district’s capacity to supply water to the Surrey area and ensure the flow of drinking water can survive an earthquake.

The one-kilometre tunnel is 30 metres below the river bed and was cut between two 60-metre deep vertical shafts.

The tunnel boring machine, dubbed Squirrel, began work in early 2014.

Drilling was halted last October when the machine ran into trouble beneath the river, but resumed in April after repairs to its cutting head.

Crews now have to install a new 2.1-metre diamete welded steel water main in the tunnel and shafts and connect them to the existing water lines. Work is to be finished in the fall of 2016.

“This complex crossing of the Fraser River by a tunnel boring machine under very difficult ground conditions is a major technical achievement,” said Metro utilities committee chair Darrell Mussatto.

The new tunnel is also expected to be more resistant to river scouring, which knocked the old water main offline in 1997 and forced temporary water restrictions in Surrey.

 

Inside the new water supply tunnel.

 

 

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Most Read