Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority completed the Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project to help meet increasing demand for containers shipped through the Port of Vancouver.

Contact Us:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 604.665.9563

The project included 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 were built by Centennial Expansion Partners (CXP) on contract to the port authority. CXP is an unincorporated joint venture between Dragados Canada Inc., Jacob Bros. Construction Inc., and Fraser River Pile & Dredge (GP) Inc.

These improvements will:

  • 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

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.

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 2022 – Heatley Road overpass removal
  • Spring 2023 – 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.

The port authority completed a preliminary comment period for the project in 2016, and two rounds of public engagement in 2017. For more details about this engagement, please review the section below. For copies of the engagement summary report for this project, please contact us.


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.