By Laura Keil

While pipeline work in the Valemount and North Thompson has started up again, many workers won’t be back on the job for a week or two as Trans Mountain implements a phased return after Christmas.

“Trans Mountain’s restart plan requires a staggered return of the Spread 3/4A workforce over an approximate three-to-four-week duration,” said Ali Hounsell, Trans Mountain spokesperson. “The work crews will use a cohort system to limit the movement of workers between crews.”

As of Fri. Jan 7th, there were 750 people back at work in the Valemount area.

Hounsell says Expansion Project personnel have to submit a pre-access RAD (rapid antigen detection) test prior to entering the camp or returning to work.

“Follow-up RAD Tests are completed bi-weekly until the workforce peak projection is reached, at which point tests may resume once per week,” she says.

She adds that Trans Mountain will continue to promote access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Regarding the Blue River pipeline accommodation camp, Hounsell says they hope to see some availability starting at the end of the month.