'Its going to be a jewel in the centre of CBRM

SYDNEY The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency has awarded a $1.48-million contract to a consultant to draw up blueprints for what the post-industrial use of the tar ponds and coke ovens sites will look like.

By Nancy King
Cape Breton Post
Wed., Nov. 23, 2011

The agency announced Wednesday that Stantec Consulting Ltd. will provide the engineering design plans for future projects at the sites following completion of the $400-million effort to remediate toxins left at the sites following a century of steelmaking.

It represents the finish line, if you will, from a construction perspective and its great to be able to know that weve come so far along on the project. It represents the finish line and its great to be able to see it, agency CEO Kevin MacDonald said.

The agency evaluated and scored several proposals for their technical content, local economic benefits and other factors. The design for the tar ponds site calls for a commons area with an outdoor concert venue to accommodate up to 10,000 people, a trail network with bridges and boardwalks connecting downtown Sydney, Whitney Pier and Ashby, and other recreation facilities. The coke ovens site would be home to a business park that would allow for commercial and light industrial development.

Its going to be a jewel in the centre of CBRM, MacDonald said.

In developing those plans, Stantec will draw upon a vision presented 18 months ago by Ekistics Planning and Design that was subsequently shaped by public consultation. Now the vision will be engineered and taken from a vision to a design to the production of actual drawings, MacDonald said.

The Ekistics plan was the subject of open houses and discussion by the projects community liaison committee, and was presented to Cape Breton Regional Municipality council. The public input enhanced it, MacDonald said.

Future construction included in the design plan will be subject to the remaining budget and schedule. The federal-provincial cost-share agreement expires March 31, 2014.

When it did its work, Ekistics considered both what could be completed within the confines of a four-year plan and also tied it in with a future 50-year vision. We hope to be ready to be implementing some of the designs in the spring of next year, MacDonald said.

Once the solidification and stabilization work is completed, the province will assume ownership of the property. The project involves containing sediment using a mixture of cement and other ingredients to prevent contaminants from spreading.

nking@cbpost.com