Construction of Line 3 is nearly halfway complete, with a two-month pause for most construction activities anticipated April 1.
“Winter construction has gone very well, and the project is on track for completion late this year,” said Barry Simonson, Director of Line 3 mainline construction.
“This is a planned two-month hiatus and most pipeline workers will begin coming back to the project in May, with construction restarting on or around June 1. Depending on the type of work they do, some workers may move on to other projects. Others are using this time to be with their families.”
“Facilities construction will continue on the project’s pump stations during this time,” said Randy Rice Director of Line 3 facilities construction.
“We have been moving the last of our control buildings into place, and work at all eight pump station facilities is either on or ahead of schedule.”
An Enbridge spokeswoman writes that “world class environmental protections developed through the permitting process inform the project’s plan.”
Meanwhile, opponents of the Line 3 pipeline issued a release today crying foul on last month’s accident near LaSalle Lake.
According to various reports, a worker was trapped in the cab of machinery when it broke through the ice and became submerged in a LaSalle Creek wetland on Feb. 6.
The worker was ultimately rescued and airlifted to a hospital for medical treatment.
Friends of the Headwaters, one of the intervening parties opposing Line 3 before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, documented the vulnerabilities of LaSalle Creek in a 2017 filing on Line 3’s draft Environmental Impact Statement.
“The wetland surface does not freeze in winter at this location because of groundwater upwelling,” states the filing.
Environmental concerns for the Hubbard County waterway were also raised in today’s release.
“You’re not going to be able to clean up the oil, if it reaches the bottom of the [LaSalle] valley,” said retired DNR biologist Paul Stolen.
“You’re simply not going to do that, because of the nature of the wetland soils and the uniqueness of this area.”
The multi-billion dollar pipeline is being built to replace the existing Line 3, with a portion of the line re-routed.
Enbridge claims the construction has given the area a much-needed economic boost, with 5,200 jobs created and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues.