Work was suspended Friday until Jan. 4, 2021 on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project as a result of construction contractor accidents.

Pipeline president Ian Anderson said, “Trans Mountain is proactively taking the step to temporarily stand down construction to review, reset and refocus our efforts, and those of our contractors and their workers.”

The work suspension follows accidents at both ends of the 1,150-kilometer (690-mile) oil conduit across Alberta and British Columbia: an October fatality near the Edmonton inlet and a serious injury this week at the outlet in the Burnaby suburb of Vancouver.

Construction is about 20% complete on the project that would nearly triple the pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 b/d as an export route for Canada’s top natural gas users, Alberta thermal oil sands plants.

“Next year, 2021, will see peak construction for the project, with thousands of people working in hundreds of sites,” said the work suspension announcement. “It is during this time when one of the greatest risks to the project becomes worker safety.”

Along with pipeline company and construction contractor reviews, investigations are underway by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) and workplace safety authorities in Alberta and B.C. Detailed route approval proceedings continue before the CER. The cases include review of a detour that Trans Mountain agreed to build around the Coldwater native tribe, which says the original route endangered the water supply of its southern B.C. reservation.