The Canadian leg of Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project is nearing completion. The portion of pipeline located north of the International Border runs from Hardisty, AB through Southern Manitoba, ending in Gretna, MB.
Specifically speaking to the section of work happening in Southern Manitoba, David Coll, Communications Manager for the Line 3 Replacement Program, says construction of the pipeline from the Souris River east to Gretna is complete.
"That just basically means that the pipeline in this particular area has been installed and tested in accordance with the project specifications and procedures. So the pipe is in the ground and the topsoil is covering it now."
Next will be reclamation work to the right-of-ways along the route.
"One of our commitments has been to return the pipeline right-of-way to, as much as possible, to its pre-construction condition," explained Coll.
Crews are expected to get started this summer and carry on until it's done, with the worst case scenario seeing the work completed at the end of 2019.
Coll noted residents in the area will see substantially less activity in their communities and on the roadways during this phase of work, going from about 1,000 workers in the area down to about 200.
The Line 3 replacement also involves the construction of 18 new pump stations along the route in Canada, one of which is being built at Gretna to also include an electrical substation.
Coll says about 80 to 100 workers are currently on site and will begin ramping down operations month-by-month until the spring with the expectation this station will be brought online when the Canadian portion of Line 3 is put into service. The anticipation is that this will unfold by July 2019.
There is however a section of the project that isn't quite complete. Coll explained the portion of pipeline that runs through Southwest Manitoba - from the Souris River to the Saskatchewan border - is sitting at about 75 percent complete.
Meantime, Coll said Enbridge is gratified by the community support this project has received in Manitoba.
"We just want to thank people for their patience during construction, we know there are impacts in terms of additional traffic on the road and heavy equipment," he noted. "We just want to remind people that if they're out there in their snowmobiles along the right-of-way, just to continue to watch because even though we are ramping down it is still an active construction site."