Port Edward crossing upgrades were expected to be done by mid-January, and with new discoveries of rot under the tiles, that timeline has been extended. (The Northern View file photo)

Port Edward CAO says rot discovered under tiles is adding time and costs

CN rail crossing upgrades delayed again

Rail crossing upgrades are delayed again, Port Edward chief administrative officer Bob Payette told council members at their regular meeting on March 12.

Payette said he had just received the news from CN Rail earlier in the day on Tuesday.

While engineering and grading to double tracks through the district is now underway, he said creeks, pipes, drainages and physical properties have been creating issues along the coast.

READ MORE: Port Edward and CN to talk about double tracks

He also said the crossing upgrades are once again on hold due to the discovery of rot under the track.

“We will continue to work hard at getting the physical crossings up to the new regulatory standards over the next couple of months,” he said, adding that they’ve engaged a contractor to work with CN. “We’re doing our best to get it done.”

Councillors expressed dismay at the additional delay and took issue with Payette’s new timeline.

“What do you mean a couple of months?” asked councillor Murray Kristoff. “In December it was going to be mid-January.”

READ MORE: Train crossings, stormwater and sewage upgrades on schedule

“Yeah, what’s the hold up?” asked councillor James Brown.

“This went from, ‘they ordered the wrong spikes,’ to now we’re a few months away again?” added councillor Dan Franzen.

Payette said that since his meeting with CN had taken place that morning, he didn’t have a lot of technical detail, but “the actual crossings need to be upgraded to a higher regulatory standard.”

“The crossings themselves are pretty old if you go down and look at them, they need to be upgraded for sure,” he said. “The more they look at it, the more the tiles underneath have rot, so that has to be upgraded, including repaving, digging.

“They want to make sure they do it at the best time so that they don’t compromise CN’s operations.”

Payette said that because Port Edward owns the crossings, they are responsible for paying for the upgrades.

However, he said he did not have the proposals yet or the associated costs.

Brown suggested petitioning businesses, such as Vopak, to help pay, before general discussion on whether or not Port Edward should pay at all.

READ MORE: Port Edward councillors raise Vopak emergency preparedness concerns

“I think that we should engage a lawyer that knows something about transportation law,” said Mayor Knut Bjorndal, adding that council should discuss a strategy further in camera or at a future meeting.

“We’ve already invested 2 million in the crossings,” he said.

“I’m telling you right now this will not take two months. I’m telling you right now this is a year away,” Kristoff said before Bjorndal tabled the issue.

Payette, who recently tendered his resignation, told the Northern View that the crossing upgrades to end the train whistling was his “second biggest file for four years.”

READ MORE: CAO for Port Edward resigns



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

District of Port Edward

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wage Subsidy up to 75 per cent announced

Businesses who have had a 30 per cent decrease can apply

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Reports of gunshots

No shooting according to RCMP

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read