A tunnel boring machine dubbed 'Squirrel' is hauled out from beneath the Fraser River.

‘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

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland

Ringette Canada says the sport has reached record registration numbers

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read