The tunnel boring machine 'Squirrel' being lowered into position during construction of a new water tunnel under the Fraser River.

New $240m water tunnel to withstand quake now operational

Drinking water tunnel under the Fraser River serves Surrey, Langley areas



Metro Vancouver has opened a new $240-million tunnel built under the Fraser River to ensure drinking water keeps flowing to Surrey and South-of-Fraser residents in the event of an earthquake.

The critical phase of the project saw the Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel gradually burrowed out by a massive tunnel boring machine dubbed ’Squirrel’ during 2014-15.

The new one-kilometre-long tunnel is 3.5 metres in diameter and located more than 30 meters below the riverbed.

It more than doubles the capacity of the old water main and is built to withstand both an earthquake and river erosion forces, which knocked the old main offline in 1997 and forced temporary water restrictions in Surrey.

The nearly six-year project posed major challenges due to difficult soil conditions and high groundwater pressures. At one point engineers had to inject liquid nitrogen to harden the soil in front of the tunnel boring machine so it could be repaired.

 

View inside the Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel during construction.

Just Posted

Firefighters come to the rescue of Langley stroke survivors

Hope After Stroke receives major infusion after Cruise-In donation falls short of expectation.

Cloverdale banker shares his love of swing dancing

Cloverdale’s Phillip Kunz shows dancing newcomers how to get into the swing of things

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

All welcome to go on Whoo’s Hoot Owl Prowl in South Langley

Evening event focuses on owls at Campbell Valley Regional Park

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Council tells TransLink commission to make sure road pricing is fair

Maple Ridge tells road pricing commission to make sure system is fair

Most Read