Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project

The Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project are being built to help meet anticipated near-term demand for containers shipped through the Port of Vancouver. The projects are expected to be complete by 2022.

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Email: [email protected]

Phone: 604.665.9563

The projects include:

  • A reconfiguration and expansion of the Centerm container terminal
  • A new overpass on Centennial Road to remove road and rail conflicts
  • Changes to Waterfront Road to create a continuous port road from Canada Place to McGill Street
  • The removal of the Heatley Road overpass
  • Coordination with other tenant and port road maintenance on port lands

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority completed extensive environmental and technical studies to inform the implementation of construction, and conducted three rounds of public consultation.

The projects will be built by Centennial Expansion Partners (CXP).

Before the projects. View looking north from CRAB Park. Note a container ship was added to this view to represent what is seen when a ship is at terminal.
After the projects. Future view looking north from CRAB Park.

These improvements will help:

  • Increase capacity at Centerm to support Canada’s growing trade demand for goods shipped in containers
  • Provide a continuous port road from Canada Place to Highway 1
  • Reduce travel delays for port users and businesses by building an overpass over two rail crossings and removing one rail crossing on port roads
  • Reduce port-related traffic on local roads in the Downtown East Side and East Vancouver

What’s new

Preparatory work will continue to be done along port roads. Starting July 2, construction will begin and will primarily involve establishing a temporary parking lot near Centerm for terminal workers.

Starting mid-July, routine maintenance work will begin on Clark Drive overpass. This work is being completed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and is being coordinated with the South Shore Access Project  to minimize overall impact to road users.

Hours of work:

Monday to Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Additional notification will be sent out if work is needed outside of regular hours.

Anticipated traffic impacts:

  • Port road users will experience periods of single lane alternating traffic
  • Clark Drive overpass will be exit only starting mid-July
    • Entry to port lands will be via Commissioner Street or Heatley Avenue overpass
    • All semi-trailer and commercial vehicles will be required to detour to Commissioner Street

Once detours begin, residents and businesses along Hastings, Powell, Dundas, Nanaimo and McGill are likely to notice an increase in truck traffic for the duration of these projects. Truck traffic will continue to only use approved major road network routes, as overseen by TransLink.

Project timeline

  • 2015 – The projects began with early discussions with partners, Aboriginal groups, local government and key stakeholders.
  • January 18-February 12, 2016 – Preliminary comment period
  • February 20-March 24, 2017 – Round 1 Public Consultation on proposed design on-terminal and off-terminal works, results of technical and environmental studies, anticipated construction activities, and a proposed community investment program.
  • May 15-June 2, 2017 – Round 2 Public Consultation on proposed project construction activities, details regarding a proposed community investment program. We shared how we considered feedback from Round 1 consultation.
  • March 2019 – Preparation for construction begins → (we are here)
  • July 2019 – Construction begins
  • August 2019 – Marine work begins, dredging timed to minimize impact to marine life
  • Fall 2020 – Centennial Road overpass complete
  • Fall 2020-spring 2021 – Heatley Road overpass removal
  • 2022 – Construction complete
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  • 350 full-time equivalent jobs per year during construction period
  • 800-900 new jobs for ongoing operations related to the expansion
  • 1700-1900 jobs estimated to be created in the greater port economy (logistics, supply chain, transloading, distribution).
  • Pursuing a minimum of Envision Gold certification. Envision is a sustainable infrastructure rating system that uses a comprehensive framework of 60 sustainability criteria that address a full range of environmental, social, and economic impacts.
  • Pursuing LEED Gold certification for the new Centerm operations and administration building.
  • Environmental mitigation efforts based on air quality, noise, and marine and terrestrial environmental studies to minimize anticipated environmental effects.
  • Creation of Maplewood Restoration Project on the North Shore to create high-grade marine habitat as an offset.
  • Remove port-related traffic from city roads
  • Mitigate construction impacts (noise, traffic)


We acknowledge that while port-related developments may provide local, regional, and national benefits, they may also have potential negative effects on those who live, work or operate in and around port areas.

Our approach to public consultation is based on two-way communication and open dialogue, working together to ensure the community, the environment and the economy are all considered during project planning.

See the consultation on Port Talk. (Now closed for comments)

Preliminary comment period consultation documents 

November 2016 – Centerm Expansion Project Summer 2016 Supplemental Engagement Materials [PDF]
August 2016 – Centerm Expansion Project Preliminary Comment Period Consideration Report [PDF]
March 2016 – Centerm Expansion Project Preliminary Comment Period Summary Report [PDF]

Round 1 public engagement consultation documents 

May 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 1 Consideration Report [PDF]
May 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 1 Consultation Summary Report [PDF]
May 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 1 Consultation Summary Report Appendices [PDF]
March 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 1 Display Boards [PDF]
February 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 1 Discussion Guide and Feedback Form [PDF]

Round 2 public engagement consultation documents 

July 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 2 Consultation Consideration Report [PDF]
June 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 2 Summary Report [PDF]
June 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 2 Summary Report Appendices [PDF]
May 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 2 Discussion Paper and Feedback Form [PDF]
May 2017 – Centerm Expansion Project Application Review Phase Round 2 Display Boards [PDF]


For a detailed overview of what we heard and what we’re doing, download the Phase 2 consideration report.

Interest How we’re responding
Air quality


We heard:

Concerns about air quality impacts as a result of the project.

We’re responding:

Our air assessment modeling shows that regional air quality standards will continue to be met even after the project is complete, with the exception of rare and short-lived exceedances of nitrogen dioxide. These exceedences are expected to occur in a small area over water or industrial areas, not in residential or other sensitive locations for human health.

We will also create an air emissions management plan to assist the terminal operator in managing air emissions following completion of construction. Additionally, the terminal operator and port authority will continue work together as part of the port authority’s Clean Air Strategy, which includes fleet replacement of older vehicles with newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles and decreased truck queuing over-time.

What else we’re doing:

GHG Emissions We heard:

Concerns about GHG emissions.

We’re responding:

All buildings will be built to LEED green building rating system sustainable building measures, and infrastructure will be built to meet Envision sustainable building standards.

We are pursuing a minimum of Envision Gold certification to ensure sustainable construction of infrastructure, and LEED Gold certification for the new Centerm operations and administration building.

We will be installing a second ship-to-shore power connection at Centerm on the newly expanded berth, so that if two ships with the necessary equipment are in port at the same time, they can both switch off their diesel-powered engines.

We are installing terminal equipment that will help reduce GHGs, including electrified rail mounted gantry cranes in place of the diesel powered rubber tire gantry cranes currently used in the intermodal yard.

What else we’re doing:

  • Shore Power: Shore power has been installed at one of the Centerm berths which allows ships with the necessary equipment to shut down diesel powered auxiliary engines and plug into land-based electrical power, significantly reducing emissions of pollutants that degrade air quality and emit greenhouse gasses.
  • Energy Action: We’re partnered with BC Hydro to help port tenants advance energy conservation.
  • Climate Smart: We offer training to help port tenants measure and reduce GHGs.
Noise We heard:

Concern that the larger terminal will be noisier.

We’re responding:

We are taking measures to reduce noise, including the use of electric-rail-mounted gantry cranes in the rail yard that will generate less noise than the current equipment.

Additionally, the longer rail tracks on-terminal provide an opportunity to reduce the number of train movements needed to build full length trains, which will reduce rail related noise due to shunting.

What else we’re doing:

The port authority has 11 long-term noise monitoring stations at locations across the port. Access this data in real time.

CRAB Park at Portside We heard:

That CRAB Park at Portside is an important place for this community and that users are concerned about impacts to their enjoyment of the park, including the view, and water quality.

We’re responding:

There will be no physical impacts to CRAB Park at Portside as a result of this project. We are confident that views will not be significantly impacted by the changes to Centerm. We completed computer modelling of tidal flushing and found that natural tide cycles will continue to flush and replenish the bay after the expansion.

A community investment program will be implemented as part of the project; the project team is currently exploring community investment opportunities based on consultation feedback and other considerations. As part of this, we will be working with the Vancouver Park Board to provide funding toward future park improvements.

Marine Impacts We heard:
Concerns about whether the project will negatively impact the environment and marine wildlife.We’re responding: We studied how the project may affect fish and fish habitat, marine birds, and marine mammals, and found that the project and construction activities are not expected to have noticeable effects on marine birds or mammals.However, we did find that the project has the potential to harm fish and will harm fish habitat due to the infilling. Because of this, we are undertaking the Maplewood Marine Restoration Project to build new high-quality habitat for fish and crab nearby.Additionally, during construction we will use a construction environmental management plan to mitigate impacts on the environment, including water quality.What else we’re doing: The port authority maintains a robust set of practices and procedures to be followed by all vessels operating in the port’s jurisdiction, in line with international best practices. These practices and procedures are designed to promote safe navigation and environmental protection from vessel activities, including oil spill prevention.

  • EcoAction Program: We encourage ships to meet voluntary environmental best practices to reduce emissions, underwater noise, and other environmental impacts.

ECHO Program: We are working with partners to develop mitigation measures that will lead to a reduction of potential threats to whales as a result of shipping activities.

Construction related impacts – noise, traffic, and light We heard:

Concerns about noise, traffic, and light during construction.

We’re responding:

Construction will be guided by a construction environmental management plan that will mitigate impacts on traffic, noise from construction, and light from construction. Examples include focusing light only where it is needed for safe and secure work, transporting construction materials by barge when possible to reduce traffic on local and port streets, and ensuring stakeholders are informed about upcoming changes to traffic patterns.