The Prince Rupert Port Authority is looking for a company to complete inspections on underwater infrastructure including Fairview Terminal. (Photo: Shannon Lough/The Northern View)

Port authority to inspect underwater infrastructure

Work to take place at five locations

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is looking for a company to inspect the underwater infrastructure at five of its locations, including one of its prime assets, the Fairview Container Terminal.

“The oldest facility that will undergo underwater inspection is estimated to be more than 50 years old, and the newest facility is three years old. With routine inspection and maintenance, older marine assets can be kept safe and usable for many decades,” said port official Monika Cote in describing the work plan.

“The inspection is used to determine the condition of the structural elements supporting the infrastructure above water. Prior inspections have not provided any historical finds.”

The and the pilot float, both adjacent to the container terminal, the Tenerife site at Port Edward and the Ro-Ro site at Ridley Island round out the five inspection locations.

Inspection results will help determine work needed to keep the five locations safe and in working order.

“Older infrastructure is normally constructed with creosote timber piles, newer infrastructure is built with steel piles. Older floats may have Styrofoam billets, newer ones are equipped with concrete chambers. Floats can be constructed with steel pontoons as well,” Cote said.

“If these underwater elements were to fail through lack of maintenance, the infrastructure they are supporting may sink or collapse. The inspection identifies the current condition of the elements below water, and provides insights into the maintenance required in order to extend the life of the asset.”

The inspections will be carried out using a combination of camera-equipped, remotely-operated vehicles and divers.

“Divers can provide a much better assessment and complete some of the testing-required measurements — for example the thickness of steel walls and marine borer depth in timber,” Cote said.

Companies interested in the work have until Sept. 18 to submit proposals.

“Engineer divers who are based in the Lower Mainland have historically partnered with local diving to provide support for the diving activity,” said Cote.

Underwater inspections were done in 2019 at the Northland cruise ship terminal and the Atlin terminal, a converted fish processing plant now home to offices and tourism shops.

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