The first winter construction season of the MVFL project has concluded with over 430 km of fibre optic cable installed. Though this construction season faced some initial challenges, it was successful with just over one third of the route completed. The map on page two outlines what has been built to date and what is planned for summer 2015 and winter 2016.
The winter build took place between January and March 2015, with five crews active at any one time between Tulita and Inuvik. Favourable winter conditions provided construction crews with sufficient snow pack and frozen ground to help remain within permit conditions and to minimize environmental and wildlife impacts. Local Environmental Monitors were also employed with each crew to ensure plans were properly carried out in the field. The environmental plans and precautions were successfully implemented, and the construction team completed this season without any significant health, safety, or environmental incidents.
Cable installation was completed at the Great Bear, one of the four major river crossings on the project. However, challenging geotechnical conditions were discovered at the Rabbitskin and Liard rivers, and the project team is currently analysing geotechnical data and investigating alternative solutions.
In late March, the project team began demobilizing people and equipment to close-out the first winter build season. Since completing the final demobilization tasks in the first week of April, construction activities on the project have wrapped-up.