Over a period of almost a decade, hundreds of workers built two seven kilometre-long water supply tunnels under the North Shore mountains.
The twin tunnels connect the Capilano and Seymour Reservoirs to each other, and to a giant filtration plant supplying safe, high-quality drinking water to Metro Vancouver. The project cost hundreds of millions of dollars and was completed in 2015.
This Project involved the boring of two, seven-kilometre-long deep rock tunnels in the North Shore mountains of Vancouver. The tunnels were up to 600 metres below surface and had to penetrate multiple rock and water conditions. Although advanced geotechnical reports predicted much of the rock and water structure to be encountered, it was not possible to predict all conditions for the full length of the tunnels.
Problems inevitably arose concerning the rock conditions and one of the tunnel boring machines used to excavate the tunnels was trapped by a rock fall. This eventually led to termination of the contractor and with unresolved issues between the Project owner and contractor, the Project was in jeopardy.
Following termination, immediate action was taken to find a replacement contractor and to attempt to resolve the issues between the original contractor and owner. Litigation was chosen for this purpose and after hearing from multiple experts, reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents, conducting examinations for discovery, the issues were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties shortly before the commencement of a trial set to last two years.
The issues were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties shortly before the commencement of a trial set to last two years.
A two-day mediation process resolved the issues, demonstrating the benefits this form of dispute resolution can bring to parties involved in complex commercial litigation.
Notwithstanding the significance of the issues that arose on this Project, it was successfully completed and is now supplying water to the Lower Mainland for the next 100 years.
More information about the Seymour Capilano Twin Tunnels project can be found on the official project website.