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Artifacts found during Multiplex excavation

An old dumpsite with several artifacts and possible soil contamination discovered during excavation of the Multiplex project has resulted in construction delays.
John Third of Graham Construction shows off artifacts found during excavation of the Canmore Multiplex site.
John Third of Graham Construction shows off artifacts found during excavation of the Canmore Multiplex site.

An old dumpsite with several artifacts and possible soil contamination discovered during excavation of the Multiplex project has resulted in construction delays.

Deputy chief administrative officer Lisa de Soto told council as of June 30 the project is four weeks behind for the soil mitigation work due to wet weather.

“Some of the challenges construction crews have been dealing with are soil and water contamination issues,” de Soto said, adding there was also an old dump discovered. “When this was discovered, construction ground to a halt to consider how to deal with it.”

The artifacts found include parts of a 1940s Mercury pickup truck, Heinz vinegar bottles from the same period, a Coca-Cola bottle from between 1951-54, pottery pieces, the soles of two men’s shoes and one ladies, an Enos Fruit Salt bottle from the late 1800s and a Fellows & Co. Chemists of St. John N.B. bottle from the same period.

Hand-forged nails, railway spikes and a bucket along with a pile driver for putting foundations into the ground were also found.

The artifacts will be given to the Canmore Museum, de Soto said.

As part of preparing for the construction project and because soil contamination was a concern at the old roundhouse location, the Town prepared an environmental management plan.

In addition to the dump site, de Soto said, crews discovered soil contamination.

Construction project manager Pat Griffiths said the cause of the oily substance was located, cleaned up and is the result of past operations on the site.

Contaminated soil will have to be removed and taken to the BFI landfill in Calgary, while uncontaminated soil will go to the Francis Cooke landfill in Exshaw.

The $39 million project includes a healthy contingency, de Soto said, which should cover delays due to the soil contamination and excavating the dump site.

“Once we are completely out of the ground these kinds of surprises diminish,” she said. “As of right now we believe we will stay within budget.”

The Town has also setup a webcam at the site for the community to track its progress. Go to www.canmore.ca for more information.


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