While the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion may still be far from finished in B.C., the section that runs through a local golf course is complete.
Redwoods Golf Course announced in the last week of September that pipeline construction, and the rebuilding of the course following that, are officially complete.
However, the course will not open right away, but will return as previously announced in the spring of 2021.
There are more than 20 acres worth of brand-new sod that have been laid down and require time to mature, the course management announced.
The driving range remains open, as does the clubhouse for some events.
The Trans Mountain expansion project almost tripled the capacity of an oil pipeline that runs from the Alberta oil sands through B.C. to a refinery and terminal in Burnaby.
The original pipeline was laid through Langley in the 1950s, when the community was largely rural. When the expansion was announced, some of the new pipeline had to follow a different route, as the old route was now hemmed in by suburban homes and industrial sites.
Part of the new route headed through northern Walnut Grove, and a chunk of that shot through the northern part of the Redwoods course, which lies between 88th and 96th Avenues, east of 216th Street.
The course was closed last year, with its last day on April 18, 2022. Originally, the closure was expected to be for a minimum of four months.
However, construction on several parts of the pipeline took longer than anticipated, with sinkholes a recurring problem in parts of Langley, including near Redwoods.
Instead of being closed for a little over four months, the course will have been closed for almost two years by the time it re-opens next spring.
Following the pipeline being dug through the course, Redwoods has fully rebuilt the fairways for holes five, nine, 10, 11, 13, and 15.
New tees were created for holes three, five, six, 12, 13, and 17. All bunkers were emptied, cleaned, and had new drainage added.
The course also aerated all the tees, greens, and fairways.
Originally owned by Kinder Morgan, the pipeline was taken over by the federal government after it was approved, and is now being built by a Crown corporation, Trans Mountain Corp.
The project, which was controversial from the start with environmentalists and some First Nations groups, is well behind schedule, and is now facing challenges with a goal of starting transporting oil in early 2024.
The cost of the pipeline, with the federal government bought for $4.5 billion, has spiralled to $30.9 billion in total as of March of this year.