Ten years after permitting and work began to build a new Vancouver Harbour ready mixed operation to serve the steadily growing downtown and East Vancouver markets, Lafarge Canada completed all construction and proceeded with early commissioning by the end of 2009
Sources: CP staff; Lafarge Canada
Ten years after permitting and work began to build a new Vancouver Harbour ready mixed operation to serve the steadily growing downtown and East Vancouver markets, Lafarge Canada completed all construction and proceeded with early commissioning by the end of 2009. The long delays were the result of a seven-year court battle, which progressed through the British Columbia Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, brought on by local residents that challenged the site-permitting process. Lafarge and Port Metro Vancouver ultimately prevailed and construction began in late 2007, with most of the engineering completed by December 2008.
Even with the court victory, Lafarge was mindful of the community and its surroundings thanks to permits with 19 general conditions, as well as 27 separate environmental conditions. The less-than-three-acre property also forced Lafarge to be creative with its plant design, which includes a custom-designed BMH Systems low-profile central mixed batch plant with 14-yd. RollMaster variable-speed, reversing drum mixer. Design capacity is about 300 yd./hour.
One of the facility’s most interesting features is an eagle’s nest located in a cottonwood tree at the north side of the site. A pair of bald eagles reside there much of the year and have become an important part of both the East Vancouver community and Lafarge Canada, which made a decision early on to design and build the new plant in a way so as to not take down or disturb the nest. While Lafarge was under no legal obligation to keep the nest in place, that didnÌt stop the company from protecting the tree with armor-style concrete block and landscaping around exposed roots to save and prolong the life of the tree. The efforts seem to have paid off when three eggs showed up early in 2009, yielding three healthy eaglets; an additional three eggs that arrived in March 2010 are expected to hatch by May. — Steven Prokopy