Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is building the Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project to help meet increasing demand for containers shipped through the Port of Vancouver. These projects are expected to be complete by 2022.

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Email: [email protected]

Phone: 604.665.9563

The project includes the:

  • Construction of new port land through infill to expand the terminal footprint by 15%
  • Reconfiguration of the Centerm container terminal
  • Creation of a new overpass on Centennial Road
  • Changes to Waterfront Road to create a continuous port road from Canada Place to Highway 1
  • Removal of the Heatley Road overpass
  • Coordination with tenants on road maintenance within port lands

The port authority completed extensive environmental and technical studies, along with three rounds of public engagement to inform the construction planning.

The projects are being built by Centennial Expansion Partners (CXP) on contract to the port authority.

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

July activities include:

  • In-water works, on the terminal works and work on the south shore continues

Traffic impacts of the project

The Centennial Road overpass opened to truck and vehicle traffic on July 4, 2021.

Entering the port

Commissioner Street entrance

  • Open to Port Pass holders driving passenger vehicles
  • Open to all commercial trucks (including non-Port Pass holders)

Clark Drive overpass

  • Entrance for visitors driving passenger vehicles without Port Passes (relocated from Heatley Avenue)
  • Open to Port Pass holders with commercial straight trucks (five-tons maximum)
  • Open to Port Pass holders driving passenger vehicles
  • Closed to semi-trailer, container, and dump trucks

Heatley Avenue overpass

  • Closed to all commercial vehicles, regardless of access permissions. Please use Commissioner Street entrance
  • Open to Port Pass holders driving passenger vehicles until August 2021
  • Restricted access to DP World, Centennial Expansion Partners (CXP) office, and the port authority maintenance facility (no access to Lantic/Rogers Street). Drivers must have a valid Port Pass
  • The Heatley Avenue overpass outbound lane closed to all traffic on July 4, 2021. Only the inbound lane will remain open for traffic such as passenger vehicles and will be permanently closed in August 2021
  • Heatley Avenue overpass will remain accessible to pedestrians and cyclists with a valid port pass (entering and exiting port lands)

To exit the port:

  • All vehicle traffic west of Rogers Street – port authority maintenance, CXP, DP World (including container, commercial, semi-trailer, and dump trucks) must use the new Centennial Road overpass exiting at either Clark Drive or Commissioner Street
  • All vehicle traffic east of Rogers Street – Rogers Sugar/Lantic, Alliance Grain Terminal (AGT) and Vanterm (including container, commercial, semi-trailer, and dump trucks) must use the low road underneath the new Centennial Road overpass (Low Road) exiting at either Clark Drive or Commissioner Street

Stewart Street overpass

  • The Stewart Street overpass returned to two lane traffic flow on June 13, 2021 with one lane eastbound and one lane westbound

Stewart Street – west of Clark Drive

  • Single-lane alternating traffic will be in place between the Clark Drive overpass and Rogers Street
  • Please adhere to traffic flagger direction and traffic signage

Centennial Road

  • The new Centennial Road overpass opened on July 4, 2021
  • Port road users can expect intermittent staged alternating lane closures during working hours on Centennial Road
  • Lanes will remain open during construction to allow access to Centerm terminal
  • Signage and flaggers are in place to minimize delays and direct traffic, and pedestrians will continue to have access

Download the PortVan eHub app to keep up to date on port roadway detours and road closures.

Project progress update

On-the-terminal work

Work on the rail beam for the new electric rail-mounted gantry cranes was completed earlier this month in order to accommodate the arrival of the new cranes.

The second phase of construction for the north yard reconfiguration is now underway. It should be completed and handed over to the terminal operator, DP World, later this summer.

Western expansion

We are continuing to remove the preload for new terminal utilities and paving in the western expansion area this month. Work on berth 6 was completed in June, just in time for the arrival of the vessel transporting the new electric rail-mounted gantry cranes.

Project timeline

  • 2015 – Early discussions begin with partners, Indigenous groups, local government, and key stakeholders
  • January 18 to February 12, 2016 – Preliminary comment period
  • February 20 to March 24, 2017 – Round one of public consultation for the proposed design of the on-the-terminal and off-the-terminal works, results of technical and environmental studies, expected construction activities, and proposed community investment program
  • May 15 to June 2, 2017 – Round two of public consultation on proposed project construction activities, details regarding a proposed community investment program, and how we considered feedback from round one of public consultation
  • March 2019 – Preparation for construction
  • July 2019 – Construction begins
  • August 2019 – In-water construction begins
  • Summer 2021 – Centennial Road overpass complete
  • Summer 2021 – Heatley Road overpass removal
  • 2022 – Construction complete
Economic prosperity through trade Healthy environment Thriving communities
  • 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)
  • Providing a financial contribution to support the wellbeing of the local community, with recipients based on what we heard during public engagement. We are contributing:
    • $125,000 to Ray-Cam Community Centre
    • $125,000 to Strathcona Community Centre
    • $250,000 to local First Nations
    • $1 million to CRAB Park improvements to be made by the Vancouver Park Board
  • Created the Centerm Community Fund, a $500,000 fund to be allocated over a three-year period to help support communities that border on south shore port lands

We acknowledge that while port-related developments may provide local, regional, and national benefits, they may also have potential 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.

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
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.

After hearing how important this park is to the local community, we are contributing $1 million to improvements at CRAB Park at Portside. The Vancouver Park Board will be the recipient of the funding and they will lead engagement and decisions on what improvements will be made.

What else we’re doing:

An additional $500,000 has been put aside for the Centerm Community Fund. If you have a local project, we encourage you to apply for funding.

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.

Project documents

January 2021 – Centerm Community Fund promotional poster – third application intake period [PDF]

January 2020 – Centerm Community Fund promotional poster [PDF]
 

July 2019 – Detours related to Clark Drive overpass maintenance (inbound closure to port via Clark Drive overpass)
April 2018 – Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project Map [PDF]
November 2016 – Centerm Expansion Project – Project and Environmental Review Project Permit Application

Monthly newsletters

Subscribe to our monthly email newsletter

July 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
June 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
May 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
April 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
March 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
February 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
January 2021 – Centerm and South Shore Update
December 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
November 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
October 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
September 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
August 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
July 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
June 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
May 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
April 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
March 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
February 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
January 2020 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
December 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
November 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
October 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
September 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
August 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
July 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
June 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Update
May 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
April 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates
March 2019 – Centerm and South Shore Updates

Notification letters

Notification letters are issued to port tenants in advance of work that will cause new disruptions to operations. Notifications are issued to local residents in advance of the start of a major portion of the project.

June 11, 2021 – Notification for opening of the Centennial Road overpass and demolition of the Heatley Avenue overpass
December 3, 2020 – Notification for public of Centennial Road traffic detour extension
October 14, 2020 – Notification for public of South Shore construction update and associated traffic impacts
June 26, 2020 – Notification for public of Centennial Road detour
August 1, 2019 – Notification for public of Clark Drive overpass rehabilitation night work
June 17, 2019 – Notification for public of Centerm and South Shore Access Project start of construction
October 18, 2019 – Notice of construction outside of regular work hours
September 6, 2019 – Notification of Canfisco boiler building demolition
July 24, 2019 – Notification for port tenants of start of tree removal to facilitate construction of the overpass and eastern expansion. New trees will be replanted as part of project. 
July 23, 2019 – Notification for port tenants of start of marine works. Dredging and infilling anticipated to take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to complete work within a condensed time window and minimize impact to marine life.
June 17, 2019 – Notification to port tenants of start of construction project.
June 17, 2019 – Notification for residents of start of construction project 

Funding partners

The new Centennial Road overpass, removal of the Heatley overpass, and improvements to Waterfront Road are funded by the Government of Canada through the National Trade Corridors Fund and the port authority.