Sydney is another step closer to reclaiming land from industrial use after a $37.6-million construction contract to divert water from the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Cleanup remediation area was awarded today, March 7. Justice Minister Cecil Clarke and Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced the contract has been awarded to Nova Scotia firms Beaver Marine Ltd. and MB2 Excavating and Construction Ltd. The partners are expected to start building the system that will redirect two brooks soon and finish in September 2012. “This contract advances this important project, and contributes to the well-being of the economy and the community of Sydney,” said Mr. MacKay, on behalf of Public Works and Government Services Canada Minister Christian Paradis. “The moment we hear those pumping stations at work we will know that we are closer to carrying out a clean-up solution that frees two parcels of land from their industrial past and allows us to envision a new Sydney,” said Mr. Clarke, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Brooke Taylor. “We are looking forward to a fresh start.” The project has three construction phases. The first phase is to build a pumping station between Prince Street and Ferry Street Bridge; the second station will be built between Ferry Street Bridge and the narrows of the north tar pond; and a third station will be built between the narrows and Battery Point Barrier, at the mouth of Sydney Harbour. Steel-panel walls will block the tide coming from the harbour and manage other water sources. In the event of a heavy storm, surplus water will drain into the tar ponds. The system will handle incoming water until a new channel is built in the remediated tar ponds. “This joint venture shows that the project’s Local Economic Benefits program has made a solid impact on companies looking to do business in Cape Breton,” said Kevin MacDonald, CEO Sydney Tar Ponds Agency. “We know that these types of partnerships lead to a more knowledgeable and marketable workforce, which only builds on the exceptional skills this island has to offer the world.” In January 2007, the government of Canada and province of Nova Scotia committed $400 million to ensure the cleanup is completed by 2014.