Project 366 – Post No. 251 – Airborn pipeline

What is Project 366? Read more here.

Anybody that has been to the Whitemud Ravine between Fox Drive and Snow Valley has seen the odd looking orange bridge crossing the ravine. Although it clearly has a catwalk on top, it is not a bridge for mere mortals as it is fenced off at both ends. Below the catwalk there is a thick pipe. I have never been able to put my finger at what this bridge is for. Some people have suggested that it is a sewer pipe. That does not make sense as it would freeze in the winter…, and we all know what happens when water/beer/sewage freezes in a enclosed space. The only other thing I can think of that would be impervious to freezing winter temperatures would be an oil flowing through the pipe. Up to today I have not had any evidence suggesting that this is an oil pipeline, other than it would make more logical sense than a water/sewer pipe and the fact that we have a lot of oil pipelines crisscrossing Alberta. That was until I came across a map of pipelines running through Edmonton. The map reveals that there indeed is an oil pipeline crossing the Whitemud Ravine at exactly this location. On the map the pipeline is labelled as “TRANSMOUNTAIN-610mm-OIL” and it originates at the Kinder Morgan Terminal at the outskirts of Edmonton. This terminal is a transit and storage facility for crude oil. So while this provides some answers it also raises many new questions. Is this “The Trans Mountain” pipeline that carries crude and refined oil from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia and that there has been so much debate around in regards to its expansion? It seems a bit puny for being The Trans Mountain pipeline? Is the pipeline still active? Perhaps it is an old route and as been decommissioned? What is the history of this section of the pipeline and why is it running right through (above) the the Whitemud Ravine and through residential areas?

Part of the Edmonton Area Pipeline Map showing the “TRANSMOUNTAIN-610mm-OIL” pipeline where it is crossing the Whitemud Ravine (highlighted in yellow),

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.