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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro has published its Site C construction schedule for March 21st to April 3rd, 2020. 

According to BC Hydro, it is modifying its work activities on the Site C project near Fort St. John in response to the increasing escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

BC Hydro shares its top priority is the health and safety of its employees, contractors and the public. Focusing only on essential work and critical milestones will help reduce the number of workers staying at the worker accommodation lodge and result in fewer workers travelling to and from Fort St. John and the Peace Region. 

Over the coming days, BC Hydro shares it will work with project contractors and unions to safely scale back certain construction activities at the project site. One of the areas the project will continue to make a priority is the work required to achieve river diversion in fall 2020. 

Other essential work such as keeping the site secure and meeting the project’s environmental commitments will continue as planned. In addition, work will continue in areas off-site, including the realignment of Highway 29, work on the transmission line and reservoir clearing, as the majority of these workers do not stay in the worker accommodation lodge. 

BC Hydro has been monitoring COVID-19 closely since January and implemented a number of measures early on to protect its employees, contractors and facilities. This includes working closely with the Northern Health Authority on its protocols at the worker accommodation lodge and to ensure the on-site health clinic is fully stocked with the supplies needed to protect workers in the event of an outbreak. 

Additional measures that were taken include more frequent cleaning and disinfecting, restricting non- essential travel, postponing all on-site tours and meetings, eliminating self-service stations in the dining room and restricting access to common areas. 

BC Hydro is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will implement new measures as the situation progresses based on information and advice provided by health authorities. 

News and highlights 

  • BC Hydro has applied to Transport Canada for approval to build four causeways across the Peace River side and backchannel, approximately three kilometres upstream of the Halfway River confluence. The main navigation channel of the Peace River will not be affected by these causeways. Dam site area – north bank and south bank 
  • Work is being scaled back in response to the increasing escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Activities required to achieve river diversion will continue. 

85th Avenue Conveyor 

  • No activity at this time. 

River diversion and navigational changes 

  • The Peace River will be diverted from fall 2020 until the completion of Site C in 2024. This section of the Peace River will be permanently closed to boaters. 
  • Construction has begun on a debris management system on the Moberly River. To protect the dam, piles are being installed in the river to catch debris that may float down the river. This section of the Moberly River is now closed to boaters

Highway 29 

  • Construction is continuing on the Cache Creek East embankment. 
  • Rock hauling on Highway 29 will occur from the Dry Creek construction site to the gravel causeway approximately three kilometres west. Traffic control will be in place, with minor delays. 
  • Rock hauling may occur from Pine River Quarry to the gravel causeway in order to build a causeway. 
  • The Lynx Creek boat launch will be occasionally closed, as needed, from mid-February until March 31, 2020, due to clearing activities. 
  • Construction at Halfway River continues. This includes setting up a concrete batch plant, tower cranes, aggregate pit development, and moving equipment and materials to the site. Bridge construction will continue (24-hour operation). This includes site preparation and grading, installation of concrete piles, excavation, hauling and stockpiling of materials, and construction of a temporary berm within the river. 
  • Lynx Creek East embankment construction continues, with the contractor based at Dry Creek. This includes clearing, vegetation removal, and excavation, hauling and stockpiling of aggregates. 
  • In-river construction works will continue with construction of gravel causeways in the Peace River and the clearing, grubbing, excavation and removal of waste wood on Dry Island and Gates Island. Boaters are advised to stay clear of the construction areas. 
  • Hand-falling of trees at Dry Creek on the south side of Highway 29 may occur. 
  • Visit our website for more Highway 29 schedules, maps and construction updates. 

Reservoir area 

  • Piles are being installed as part of a debris management system being built on the Moberly River, upstream of the dam site. The area is closed to boaters. 
  • Burning may occur between the dam site and Halfway River along the Peace River, and up the Moberly River and Cache Creek drainage. Burning is based on ground conditions, the fire danger rating, and venting conditions. Merchantable timber will be hauled to local mills. 
  • Road building and clearing continue on the south bank of the eastern reservoir and both banks of the middle reservoirs including islands in the Peace River, east of Halfway River. Boaters are asked to stay clear of the work area. Helicopters will be used. 
  • Forestry and access road data collection and site investigations continue in the middle and western portions of the reservoir. Transmission works 
  • Transmission line stringing will wrap up for the winter, as scheduled. 
  • Transmission line construction will continue as road access allows. This includes helical pile foundation installation, tower assembly and lifting and placing towers on foundations. 
  • Maintenance work will continue on roads that provide access to the transmission corridor. 

Other areas 

  • Work is occurring at Portage Mountain. This involves clearing snow, loading rip rap and tree clearing work near Canyon Drive at 400 Road. 
  • Riprap hauling continues between Portage Mountain Quarry and Lynx Creek, and between West Pine Quarry and Halfway River
  • Aggregate and riprap production will continue in West Pine Quarry and Portage Mountain Quarry. 

WHAT TO EXPECT Work will take place during the day, night, and on the weekend until the project is completed. During this time, residents can expect: Traffic – please use caution and obey safety signage 

  • Old Fort Road 
  • Near Gate A to the dam site, drivers may encounter loose gravel and increased commercial traffic. 
  • Overnight deliveries of penstock pipes along Old Fort Road will result in rolling road closures and traffic delays. Deliveries will occur every one or two weeks. 
  • Due to equipment delivery, there may be occasional short road closures along Old Fort Road from Tahltan Road to Gate B. 
  • Highway 29: Construction-related equipment will travel along Highway 29 and Highway 97. Learn more at drivebc.ca. 
  • Other areas: Trucks with heavy loads will be accessing the dam site and other project areas, using public and resource roads. 

Equipment 

  • Heavy machinery will be in the transmission line corridor. Please stay clear of the work areas. 
  • Helicopters and commercial drones may be used to support investigative and construction works. 

Noise and vibration 

• Some noise and vibration may occur near the dam site and work areas, including the quarries. Sign up for construction bulletins and follow us @sitecproject on Twitter to receive updates.

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