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Popular trail at John Hart to reopen

Final touches are being made to the re-aligned Station View Trail. Stephen Watson (left) from BC Hydro, Philip Whelan (centre) from SNC-Lavalin and Scott Marshall from Aecon stand on the bridge being constructed over the pipelines. - Photo submitted
Final touches are being made to the re-aligned Station View Trail. Stephen Watson (left) from BC Hydro, Philip Whelan (centre) from SNC-Lavalin and Scott Marshall from Aecon stand on the bridge being constructed over the pipelines.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Construction is underway on a new pedestrian bridge along the Station View Trail.

The bridge will provide trail users with a front row seat of BC Hydro’s John Hart Generating Station replacement project.

“The bridge will take trail users over the three penstocks and provide a unique viewpoint over the generating station and back towards the penstock corridor,” Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, wrote in a project update report.

The bridge will re-route the Station View Trail, which diverts Canyon View Trail users up and around the existing Generating Station that will eventually be closed off.

The Station View Trail is expected to re-open on August 15, with the new foot bridge unveiled.

The $1-billion project involves removing the three penstocks behind the generating station and replacing them with a single, 2.1 kilometre underground tunnel, as well as building a new 132-megawatt generating station underground.

The project is currently in the preliminary stages, with about 50 full-time workers on site.

Watson said that is expected to change as construction ramps up and there will be employment opportunities for local workers.

“Hiring will be handled by the design/build contractor ASL-JV, and all skilled trades will be hired through representative unions,” Watson wrote. “A union agreement has been concluded to simplify the hiring process, offer competitive and fair wages across the board, provide local workers with first opportunities and provide fair access to work.”

Watson said tradespeople should contact their unions for upcoming job opportunities.

The Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, North Island Employment Foundations Society (NIEFS), and North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society will be posting contact information for those unions on their respective websites.

Construction on the five-year project officially got underway last month and will peak in 2016 when approximately 350 workers will be involved.

So far, site work has involved the construction of a new, 75-parking stall parking lot for Elk Falls with a John Hart Project Interpretive Centre.

On July 30, the facility reached a milestone when 1,000 visitors came through the centre in one month. Three new panels on John Hart project design and construction and tunneling and excavation works have been added to the Interpretive Centre which is expected to be moved to the Museum at Campbell River once the John Hart project is complete.

The centre is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until early September. After that, hours will be re-evaluated.

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