A new container examination facility at the former J.S. McMillan Fisheries’ site could eliminate the need for trucks to carry cargo through town.

A new container examination facility at the former J.S. McMillan Fisheries’ site could eliminate the need for trucks to carry cargo through town.

New route for container trucks?

Trucks carrying large containers through downtown Prince Rupert on Second Avenue and McBride Street may be a thing of the past

Trucks carrying large containers through downtown Prince Rupert on Second Avenue and McBride Street may be a thing of the past, if the Port of Prince Rupert is able to achieve one of their long-term plans for a new container examination facility (CEF).

The port is exploring, but hasn’t formally engaged in the process to develop the former J.S. McMillan Fisheries’ cannery site, located beyond the end of Highway 16, west of Graham Avenue, into its new container examination facility.

“When we built Fairview Container Terminal back in 2006-07, we didn’t own that property at J.S. McMillan, so developing the [CEF] had to be done on port lands that were under our control. So Ridley Island was a logical place to do that at the time,” said port marketing and communications officer Kris Schumacher last week.

In 2011, when J.S. McMillan closed down, the port bought those lands and have been determining how best to use it with the close proximity to Fairview.

Currently, trucks transport containers flagged for inspection by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to the location at Ridley Island, carrying them through Park Avenue, Second Avenue and up McBride Street, through Highway 16 to its existing CEF.

To expedite that process and as part of ‘Phase Two’ of the Fairview expansion to try and bring the terminal’s capacity to 1.3 million TEUs, the former cannery site makes for an attractive option with respect to proximity.

However, the port advised city council in late June that with added housing on Graham Avenue and a newly-built road and roundabout connecting Graham Avenue and Park Avenue, proposed by Bryton Group for their Oceanview Development, there may be an influx of activity in possible residential areas should the CEF be developed in that area with added housing.

“It was just a conversation to let [the city] know when they were making changes to the official community plan, that it was simply to alert them to the fact that we will be exploring that later. In addition to having the CEF located there, there are a number of other uses that we could have [for that site]. One of those may be the relocation of our port security operations centre to that site and expanding that … [to be] more centralized and larger and a more sophisticated spot to house that rather than what we currently have at Atlin,” said Schumacher.

“The relocation of the CEF is one of many different improvements to the total intermodal service that we can offer through Fairview Container Terminal.”