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Enbridge may rip up huge part of Queen's Quay to replace pipeline

Last Updated Feb 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm EDT

A street signs tells you you're on Queen's Quay in Toronto. DIANA PEREIRA/680 NEWS

It wasn’t that long ago that construction crews finished up work on the massive revitalization of Queen’s Quay, but once again area residents may find themselves knee deep in rubble.

Enbridge Gas is considering ripping up a 4.5 kilometre stretch of the area to replace a 66-year-old pipeline, which is one of the primary feeds of natural gas to the downtown core.

The proposal, which is one of three possible locations, would see the Martin Goodman Trail bike path ripped up from Cherry Street to Bathurst Street.

But why wasn’t this problem identified and dealt with when the revitalization of the area was done in 2015?

“From all indications, neither the City of Toronto or Waterfront Toronto were aware of the need to replace the gas pipeline during the revitalization of the waterfront in 2015,” City of Toronto spokesperson Susan Pipe explained.

According to Enbridge, planned maintenance was done on the pipeline in 2016. Then integrity work was completed on the pipeline two years ago and that’s when sections were identified which required replacement.

“The revitalization work was completed in 2015 but it took three years to construct, and the environmental assessment for that work was completed in 2009 prior to construction starting,” a spokesperson for the utility told CityNews.

“At that time, we had not identified the need to remediate this section of pipeline.”

The revitalization of Queen’s Quay took three years and came at a pricetag of $128.9-million funding by all three levels of government. It saw expanded sidewalks, a separated bike path, extensive landscaping work, and improved transit in the area.

Enbridge said areas affected by the construction will be fully restored when the project is completed.

“We use best in class construction practices so we minimize the impact to people in the area,” Enbridge’s Tracey Teed Martin explained.

“When the construction is completed we fully restore to the original condition, the roads and sidewalks and bike lanes and whatever may be there.”

Queens Quay isn’t the only site being considered for this new pipeline — Harbour Street and Lake Shore Boulevard are also being studied as possible locations.

The utility will be holding public consultations through the process — including a public information session that was held last month. An environmental report will be brought forward to the Ontario Energy Board in the spring for approval. The public will also be able to comment on the project at that time.

The construction is scheduled to begin in Spring of 2021 and last until Spring 2022.