Construction Underway for Puntledge Area Sewer Upgrade

April 18, 2024

An essential construction project that will replace aging sanitary sewer infrastructure in the Puntledge neighbourhood is underway. The upgrade of the 60-year-old lift station on 1st Street at the entrance to Puntledge Park in Courtenay will result in traffic and parking impacts, and will be completed by November.

The project will increase sewer capacity for the area, mitigate operational risks and lower ongoing maintenance costs.

“This is the most important sewer infrastructure project in the City right now,” said Chris Davidson, Director of Engineering Services at the City of Courtenay. “The current lift station has reached the end of its service life. It is critically important that we replace it to ensure we’re providing adequate sewer service for Puntledge neighbourhood residents.”

The project contractors, Hazelwood Construction Services, will replace and upgrade:

  • The sewer lift station, including a 7-metre deep wet well, pumps, an above-ground valve chamber, a power and controls kiosk and site fencing.
  • About 450 metres of gravity sanitary sewer main between Menzies and Willemar avenues.
  • About 250 metres of sanitary sewer force main between 1st Street and Pidcock Avenue through an undeveloped City-owned right-of-way.

A primary focus during construction will be protecting fish habitat, including ecosystems which support the endangered Morrison Creek lamprey. “The City originally hoped to do this project over the fall and winter to avoid the busy summer season in the park, but the increased costs associated with doing this work over the rainy season would have been significant,” advised Davidson.

Mitigating erosion and sediment in the fall and winter, and other related construction challenges, would have added roughly $1 million to the project budget. “We acknowledge that summertime work will be more disruptive to park users and regret the inconvenience, but it will be much safer for the very sensitive marine ecosystems in and around the Puntledge River and Morrison Creek,” he added.

As the public washrooms at the park will be closed during construction, temporary washrooms will be provided. Traffic impacts on 1st Street from Menzies to Willemar avenues are expected throughout the duration of the project, with extended periods of single-lane alternating traffic.

Puntledge Park will remain accessible to the public at all times. The contractor will coordinate directly with neighbourhood residents to maintain access to properties and weekly curbside collection service.

Traffic control personnel and signage will be in-place to help local traffic, emergency vehicles, transit and pedestrians through the work zone as required. Schedules will be updated as work progresses.

The total project budget is approximately $ 4.0 million, to be funded from a combination of long-term borrowing and reserves.

For more information and updates throughout construction, visit