Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mayor Brain welcomes Fairview expansion prospects, seeks consultation on traffic concerns

Mayor Lee Brain had a few
thoughts on Tuesday, following
a major announcement
from DP World and the Prince
Rupert Port Authority
Mayor Lee Brain offered up the City's congratulations to the Prince Rupert Port Authority and DP World on Tuesday, making note of their announcement of earlier in the day of an agreement to explore further expansion plans for the Fairview Container Terminal.

As we noted on the blog yesterday, the Port and DP World will be looking at the prospect of a southern expansion from the current site, a project that would significantly increase the potential throughput of containers that make use of the Prince Rupert Gateway to the world.

In a media release from Tuesday (see here), the Mayor managed take some of the spotlight from the Fairview expansion announcement, connecting the major news development of the day to his recently released Hays 2.0 vision plan.

"A threefold increase in throughput at Fairview Container Terminal fits well within the City’s Hays 2.0 Vision for Prince Rupert. “As we head into 2016, the visions of the PRPA, DP World and the City are well aligned,” Mayor Brain acknowledged."

As well as promoting the City's Hays 2.0 vision document, the Mayor also offered up some observations on the nature of the proposed expansion and the impact that it may have on traffic to and from the terminal facility.

With the Mayor pointing to his desire for more study into the issue and apparently set to make plans to invite the Province to partner with the City, bringing together all of the stakeholders to examine the impact of any potential increase to traffic through the heart of the city.

“in this investigation we would have to take into account the eventual re-development of the downtown core of Prince Rupert. Future plans for the City’s core would have to examine the viability of maintaining a provincial highway with increasing car and truck traffic routed through the downtown of the City.” -- Mayor Lee Brain with a little long range planning in the wake of Tuesday's Fairview Terminal announcement

However, before the Mayor launches another vision study, or strikes a committee to investigate traffic issues and the redesign of the downtown core, he might want to wait a bit and see what exactly the Port Authority and DP might have in mind when it comes to the design of the southern portion of Phase Two.

Previous concepts that have been suggested for the much anticipated major Fairview expansion, would seem to suggest that a good portion of the access and focus on the development will approach from the Ridley Island Access road area.

That is an area of of the industrial lands which has already captured the attention of the Port, which as we noted earlier this year has already given some thought towards development for a container yard facility.
The Port of Prince Rupert and DP World Ports will be working together
on a study into the potential of a southern expansion of the Fairview
Container Terminal, a project which could unlock a large portion of
South Kaien Island and Ridley Island for further development.
As well, should the southern expansion take place, the Port may finally have the opportunity to develop a road access that takes the direction of container traffic away from the city streets and re-routes it towards the Ridley Island access road.

That is something has been mentioned in the past and a project which would actually reduce the amount of truck traffic passing through the downtown streets.

The southern shift would also tie in nicely with main selling point of the Fairview Terminal concept, that of direct from ship to rail transit for the majority of the cargo that passes through the port and also offers up the prospect for expanded use of the Road, Rail and Utility corridor on Ridley Island, infrastructure that is already in place and was designed with port expansion in mind.

With the expansion planning that is in mind taking the Port Authority towards their 2024 Gateway vision, the city will probably receive some indication before too long, as to what it all may look like once the two transportation partners formalize their concepts.

Until then, City officials might be more interested in some of the commentary from Port CEO and
President Don Krusel's presentation to the Chamber of Commerce last month, a rather interesting glimpse into the future and something which we highlighted on the blog yesterday.

Should the Prince Rupert Port Authority Gateway Strategy
reach its full potential, municipal revenues could grow
significantly as more and throughput totals expand

During that overview of the Port's development plans for the Chamber, Mr. Krusel noted some staggering financial possibilities for municipal revenues in the region.

The Port CEO and President noted that should the Port's larger blue print of expansion, both for Fairview Terminals and for other elements related to Ridley Island move forward, the share of revenues that would be delivered to municipalities in the region could reach close to 60 million dollars year, a ten fold increase from those delivered to the City of Prince Rupert in 2014.

A significant development that would definitely be worthy of a press release from the Mayor.

You can review some of the background on Port development from our archive page here, while notes related to City council discussion points can be found On our City Council Archive page here.

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