Tar ponds remediation moving to next phase with tender call

SYDNEY — Tenders have been requested for the latest portion of a project designed to take the tar ponds from an environmental disaster to a green space.

Cape Breton Post
By Greg MacNeil
Tues. Jul. 20, 2010

The next stop in the $400-million cleanup of the tar ponds and coke ovens will see the creation of a protective cap over treated tar ponds sediment. "I think one of the most exciting parts of this project, the tender itself, is that it is the final step before the end, which is future use of the tar ponds," said Tanya Collier MacDonald, spokesperson for the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency. "I think that it will be a great benefit to the community and for those who have been living next to the contaminated site for so many years."

The project will allow the reclamation of 97 hectares of land for future green space development. More than 70 per cent of the south pond, located between Prince Street and the Ferry Street Bridge, has already been solidified and stabilized.

Treatment of the entire pond is expected to be completed in August, followed by the construction of a channel to allow brook water and groundwater to flow through the site and into Sydney harbour. "The cap can follow along with the channel because the channel doesn’t have to be complete for the cap to begin."

The cap project, valued between $15-20 million, will include a grading/bedding layer, a geosynthetic clay layer, a geocomposit drainage layer, protective fill, topsoil and hydro seed.

Also designed to direct rain and groundwater into the engineered channel, the cap is considered the third step in a series of projects leading to the future development of the remediated site.

In 2007, the government of Canada and province of Nova Scotia committed the $400 million to ensure the cleanup is completed by 2014.

In a press release, Bill Estabrooks, minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal, called the cap project the connecting contract between the remediation work on the project and future use of the former tar ponds site.

While Rona Ambrose, minister of public works and government services, referred to the project as good news for the people of Sydney. "This tender for the tar ponds cap will lead to the reclamation of nearly 240 acres of land and a cleaner and more sustainable future for residents," she said.

Construction of the multi-layer protective cap will begin in the fall and is scheduled for completion in summer 2013.

The tender closes Aug. 10.