FortisBC construction settlement shuts down Como Lake Ave. for second time this month

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said motorists should avoid the area

For the second time this month westbound traffic has been closed on Como Lake Avenue in Coquitlam because of sinking caused by FortisBC pipeline construction.

In a statement posted to their website Tuesday night, the company said crews had observed ground movement at the Lilian Street intersection and were closing the road as a precaution. 

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“We have a rigorous safety monitoring program and operating policies in place to maintain safety for the public and our crews, which enable us to quickly respond to events such as this,” the company said. “We are currently refining our construction methods to ensure the stability of trenches in the area.”

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart urged commuters to avoid the area, noting the detour, which starts at Schoolhouse Street, took driers down Foster Avenue through residential areas with lots of schools.

“Please watch for students on their way to school,” he said on social media. “Better yet, avoid Como Lake and the detour and try another route.”

This is not the first time FortisBC has had to shutdown the street over settlement issues. 

Earlier this month, westbound traffic was closed on Como Lake and a temporary detour was established between Robinson and Townley streets when a soil depression 5 m in diameter sunk 20 cm. FortisBC said cracking pavement at Gatensbury Street also had to be repaired.

"Although infrequent, this type of ground movement can happen with deeper excavations like this one, which is about two stories deep and has underground utilities nearby," said FortisBC spokesperson Alex Munro at the time of the incident.

In March, FortisBC began upgrading its 5.5 km pipeline underneath Como Lake Avenue as part of a larger 20-km project that began in Vancouver. Construction crews have been making their way through Burnaby along the Lougheed Highway over the last year.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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