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Temporary closure for new trail as hydro construction begins

InPower BC’s rendering on the new pedestrian crossing going across the three John Hart Generating Station pipelines. - Photo submitted
InPower BC’s rendering on the new pedestrian crossing going across the three John Hart Generating Station pipelines.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The newest addition to the popular Canyon View Trail will be closed for about two months as work begins on the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project.

The Station View Trail opened last year as a detour route for the Canyon View, but needs to be partially re-routed due to upcoming work.

Starting on Monday, InPower BC – the contractor selected by BC Hydro for the $1 billion project – will begin construction of two underground portals.

These portals will eventually link to the water supply tunnel and new generating station, all of which will be built underground in the bedrock. The location of the work means the existing Station View Trail routing up and around the surge towers needs to be changed.

The trail will be re-routed from the current interpretive sign kiosk along the top of a plateau that leads to the pipelines immediately below the surge towers and then on to the Millennium Trail and Canyon View Trail.

The plan is to build a wood bridge across the three concrete anchor blocks for each pipeline. This will provide trail users with excellent views of the 90-metre-tall surge towers and, looking the other way, an overview of the Campbell River and hydro facility.

“The views should be ideal,” said BC Hydro spokesman Stephen Watson.

Based on community input BC Hydro committed to maintaining a trail system through its property during the five-year construction phase.

Last year, BC Hydro built the Station View Trail to go inland from the river and around the construction area. Since then, people have two options in walking through the property by going on the new Station View Trail or the Canyon View Trail. The new trail and viewing platform will be in place for a limited time. Around 2018, the pipelines will be removed, two of the three surge towers will be gone, and the generating station will be taken down to the ground level. Before that happens, Watson said, the Station View Trail will need to be re-routed again, probably two times.

The Station View Trail will be closed Monday and is expected to re-open in mid-August. During this time, Canyon View will remain open.

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