Prince Rupert Port Authority announces restricted access to Ridley Island.

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On July 29 the Prince Rupert Port Authority announced that public access to the perimeter road around Ridley Island will be restricted starting Tuesday, August 2nd, as crews and heavy machinery begin preparations for the planned expansion of Ridley Terminals.

The terminal, which is approaching its capacity of 12 million tonnes of coal annually, is set to double its capacity by adding 14 hectares to its 55-hectare working site. The expanded land was acquired from the Prince Rupert Port Authority earlier this year. Addition of a new dumper system is underway, as is the installation of a third stacker/reclaimer.

Starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd, the access control gate at the entrance to Ridley Island — some 17 kilometres from the city of Prince Rupert—will be staffed around the clock, seven days a week. Only personnel carrying appropriate photo identification will be permitted to enter, assuming they have specific business on the island.

“As of August 2nd, work crews and equipment will be setting up a construction camp,” said Gary Paulson, Vice President of Operations for the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “Given the scale of the project, and the type of machinery involved, safety and security are of paramount concern. By ensuring only authorized personnel are permitted onto the island, the grubbing work can proceed safely and efficiently.”

Grubbing refers to the clearing and leveling of land in preparation for development. Surface soil will also be removed to ready the site for construction and installation of new coal loading equipment.

The estimated completion date for this phase of the Ridley Terminals expansion project is December 2011. The access control gate will be in continuous operation until then.

“Although the access restrictions might seem like an inconvenience for some,” said Paulson, “they provide the necessary freedom for the site’s skilled engineers and workers to conduct their work according to well-understood safety standards.”

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