New water lines will soon be installed in Whitney Pier

By Tanya Collier Macdonald
Cape Breton Post
Thurs., Aug. 11, 2005

Sydney - Whitney Pier water consumers will have new lines in about nine weeks, as work to relocate water mains from a contaminated portion of the coke ovens property is underway.

One of the existing water mains dates back to 1910 and the other to 1940. Both will be shut down once the new lines are in place.

Construction crews will relocate the drinking water to water mains which will be constructed along an uncontaminated portion of the former Sydney Steel plant, now known as Harbourside Business Park. "Thereíll be no disruption in service," said Mike MacKeigan, public utilities manager for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

The lines carry between 240,000 and 270,000 gallons of drinking water a day to the community of Whitney Pier.

Coastal Construction, based in North Sydney, is the contractor for the $614,000 project. The engineering company ADI Ltd. designed the realignment and will supervise the work.

Although the lines to be replaced are dated, MacKeigan said an environmental assessment completed before the project began determined they were in good shape. "It assured us that there was no breach of integrity," he said.

The work is one of four preliminary projects paid for by a federal-provincial cost-share agreement for the tar ponds cleanup.

The second project is the $6.3-million relocation of Coke Ovens Brook. In a few weeks, contractors will begin relocating the north branch running from the base of Blueberry Hill in Whitney Pier, so it flows down a new channel to be dug near Frederick Street and the Sydney Ports Access Road.

The new channel will pick up flows from several smaller brooks along the way and will cross under the coal railway tracks and the SPAR at a point just east of Lingan Road. It will then follow the rail spur through the coke ovens site to join the south branch at the Victoria Road overpass.

The brook located along the south side of the old Sydney landfill at the back of the Schwartz building on Vulcan Avenue will be redirected to Mullinís Bank. It will travel along the bank until it merges with Cagney Brook. At that point, it will run parallel to Victoria Road and follow the existing channel under the Victoria Road overpass.

Design work needed to construct a coffer dam at Battery Point and to clean a cooling pond at the Sysco site is nearly completed.

tcmacdonald@cbpost.com