Multi-million-dollar train cargo transfer facility proposed for Terrace

Hillary Johnson

A multi-million-dollar train cargo transfer facility is proposed for the former Skeena Cellulose sawmill site on Keith Avenue in Terrace. The transload facility would perform transfers of shipping containers between trucks and trains. It would also allow for packing and unpacking contents from shipping containers and provide storage.

After Progressive Ventures Inc. purchased the former mill site in 2019, they have received requests for this project. The plan is to subdivide the south side of the site into smaller properties for light industrial or commercial use. Business Development Manager, Hatha Callis, says this endeavour would provide many employment opportunities to the region.

"We include both the transload facility and the buffer ring of properties that are contemplated and shown in our project plan is approximately 160 permanent jobs, and we have applied an industry-standard multiplier 1.6 to estimate an approximate number of additional 280 indirect jobs."

He says there would be minimal disruption in traffic flow while also improving the streetscape, including pedestrian and cycling pathways.

 "We have completed a traffic impact study that contemplates the transload facility, commercial and industrial properties that are proposed in concept, and other developments along Keith Avenue. This project sits well within the parameters used for the City of Terraces' transportation master plan."

Callis mentioned that since the land was formally used as a mill site, there are few environmental issues the company will have to address.

"There are no major issues, but the assessment testing and monitoring are all complete. We are now into the mediation phase. What we are proposing is a very clean operation. The environmental remediation is to clean up the minor contaminations left behind for historical uses. That's also the key milestone required to make all of those properties along the front of Keith Avenue available for development."

An open house is planned on July 29 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Days Inn to provide more information about the development and gather feedback. Physical distancing requirements and occupancy limits will be enforced, and participants will be encouraged to wear masks. Additionally, an online version of the open house will be available for those who can't attend.

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