By redirecting the Trans Mountain pipeline across undeveloped land behind Bachelor Heights, Kinder Morgan will avoid the ire of hundreds of potential homeowners, a Westsyde resident said Friday.
And, if the pipeline ever ruptures, any contamination will be far from the vulnerable North Thompson River, Robert Jensen told The Daily News.
"It's much safer going on top of the hill where, if there's a rupture, there's no one to really bother up there," Jensen told The Daily News. "Get it away from that darn river."
The current Trans Mountain line runs beneath hundreds of Westsyde properties before turning west toward a refinery in Brocklehurst.
Jensen delivered his proposal and a map he created of the re-routing in a letter to the City, which is included in the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting.
As it turns out, Greg Toth, project director for the Trans Mountain expansion project, is expected to speak to council at that meeting.
Earlier this year, Kinder Morgan Canada announced it would commence plans to expand the existing pipeline system between Edmonton and Burnaby.
A report to council says the proposed $4.1 billion project would increase capacity on Trans Mountain to 750,000, from 300,000, barrels of oil a day.
In order to do that, Kinder Morgan wants to twin the existing line. Parts that are already twinned will be dug up and replaced with bigger pipe.
Jensen has lived in Westsyde since 1947 and was present when the existing pipelines were put in place; the first layer to Lyne Road in 1952 and the second to Dever Road in 1957, he said.
The neighbourhood was nowhere near as populated back then. In fact, the second line was veered off to the north in order to avoid the development at the time.
"We've been hindered with this pipeline for decades," said Jensen.
What Kinder Morgan proposes will be major disruption, not just for residents, but also potentially for The Dunes at Kamloops as kilometres of ground is dug up, he said.
Toth could not be reached for comment Friday. But a spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan said engineers and environmentalists are looking into all possible options for Trans Mountain.
She said the best interest of wildlife, the environment and property owners is being considered.
Jensen hopes City council will take his proposal seriously.
"They should be representing the best interests of the residents here. And the interest of the residents is to have that thing re-routed," he said.
Calls to Mayor Peter Milobar were not returned by Friday night.