Construction will start this summer on Enbridge’s 1,700-kilometre Line 3 replacement pipeline, the largest project the company has ever undertaken.
Several pipeline projects have been proposed to pass through the Prairies, though this will be the first to proceed. The $7.5-billion Line 3 replacement from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wis., was approved by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government last fall, at the same time as the Trans Mountain expansion.
Equipment is already being assembled in Hardisty, 200 kilometres southeast of Edmonton, where work on the Line 3 replacement is scheduled to begin on Aug. 1. After years of economic stagnation, Hardisty Mayor Anita Miller is optimistic about opportunity in rural Alberta.
“I hope it’s a positive note for everybody who’s … waiting for approvals, and waiting to put their shovels in the dirt,” Miller said.
The replacement project will be built in phases.
Two stretches — from Hardisty to Luseland, Sask., and from Rosetown, Sask., to Regina — will be built this year. The second phase, which will include the rest of the Canadian construction, will happen next year.
Enbridge representatives have been travelling to the towns near the construction sites, said company spokesperson Suzanne Wilton.
“We’ve been really encouraged by the excitement and support that people have in these small towns,” Wilton said.
The oil tank farm near Hardisty has seen a few small building projects over the past few years, but Miller said the community can handle much more.
“We are definitely used to having all this construction,” Miller said. “When it’s gone it really hurts our businesses.”
The Line 3 replacement project is expected to bring between 600 and 800 workers to town.
“The restaurants, the motels, the gas stations, the grocery stores, everybody would see a benefit,” Miller said.
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