Image: Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project

Sustainability3 min read

Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project

Vancouver to Langley, BC
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure / Transportation Investment Corporation
2003 – ongoing

Our specialists in Environmental Planning and Ecology, Site Assessment and Remediation, and Community Engagement and Social Sciences have all performed significant roles in this complex and important infrastructure project.


The Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project (PMH1) included the construction of a new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge, 37km of highway widening from Vancouver to Langley, 30km of new high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and the replacement of nine highway interchanges. The project is the largest transportation infrastructure project in BC history. Starting in 2003, Ausenco served as a strategic partner to the BC Ministry of Transportation (MOTI) on the gateway program, providing a range of environmental services such as environmental assessment, First Nations consultation, and contaminated sites to support the planning and development of PMH1. Our team has provided key environmental management services for the PMH1 Project since 2006, including coordinating impact assessments, and preparing the application to support the harmonized project review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA) / BC Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA), as well as during procurement, construction, and post-construction periods. In 2009, Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp.) became responsible for the construction and operation of the project, and Ausenco’s specialists continued to provide key environmental management services to the owner. Our specialists in Environmental Planning and Ecology, Site Assessment and Remediation, and Community Engagement and Social Sciences have all performed significant roles in this complex and important project.


Our team members led the preparation of the application for federal and provincial approvals for the project and managed environmental requirements for construction and post-construction. Since 2003, this work has included:

  • Developing and implementing the impact assessment work plans and reports for all assessments for the application including archaeology, fisheries, contaminated sites, wildlife, noise, air quality, water quality, and socio-economics
  • Providing input to the regulatory strategy to obtain approval for the project
  • Leading preparation of the application as well as for applications of permits including the Fisheries Authorization, and Water Act permits
  • Providing project management services including supervising other consultants, providing senior review on behalf of MOTI, and liaising between MOTI and the Ministry of Environment
  • Supporting TI Corp. as the Contaminated Sites Manager
  • Performing more than 15 concurrent pre-purchase/pre-construction preliminary site investigations and detailed site investigations
  • Providing regulatory lead services and construction environmental management oversight
  • Serving as Environmental Lead for habitat compensation projects
  • Identifying, coordinating, and managing issues related to meaningful engagement with seven First Nations in environmental review, planning, and construction. First Nations were an integral part of the planning, design, and implementation of the largest habitat compensation sites for the project
  • Providing strategic environmental advice, support for environmental compliance reviews, and oversight of effectiveness monitoring.


Ausenco’s numerous strategic advisory and technical roles on PMH1 include serving as the Environmental Manager for the project. Our staff helped obtain permits and provided stakeholder and First Nations liaisons for habitat compensation sites. We also developed a protocol for and supervised the completion of over 15 concurrent Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigations (PSI), stage 2 PSIs, detailed site investigations, human health and environmental risk assessments, and risk management activities. Analyzing the results of field studies, Ausenco has effectively worked with MOTI, TI Corp., and the design-build contractor’s engineering and design staff to avoid potential effects by proposing and implementing design changes, integrating mitigation concepts into the project design, and ensuring that environmental design features function as intended.