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Many contractors interested in Campbell River dam upgrade project

BC Hydro took 30 companies on tour of project site as part of BC Bid process
John Hart Dam near Campbell River, B.C. BC Hydro photo

BC Hydro announced it has received a significant amount of contractor interest in the civil work for the John Hart Dam Seismic Upgrade Project since issuing a request for proposal in December.

More than 30 companies were given a tour of the project site during the week of Jan. 24 as an outcome of the BC Bid process, said BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson.

“This is all leading towards a nice number of bids. We’re really encouraged by the level of interest in this project amongst the contracting community and we are confident that we will be successful in securing a highly qualified contractor to build this important project,” he said.

READ MORE: BC Hydro launches major seismic upgrade for John Hart Dam

READ MORE: Campbell River major projects web portal now ready for companies to register

The firms participating in the site visit included local companies, as well as some from around North America.

Notable organizations included Aecon-EBC, Barnard Construction Companies of Canada ULC, Flatiron Constructors Canada Limited, and Pomerleau Inc, as well as We Wai Kai First Nation, and Wei Wai Kum First Nation.

The full list of those interested is available on

“The web portal, in collaboration with the Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce, is a good site for subcontractors to follow this project along, as well as the Ladore Spillway Seismic Upgrade Project and the Strathcona Dam Water Discharge Upgrade Project that are proposed for the Campbell River system,” said Watson. “As is the case for all of our capital projects, we encourage business to business discussions.”

The civil works contractor bid submissions will be very in-depth and will include the various key subcontractors that may be part of the bidding company’s team. The bid closure date is spring 2022. BC Hydro plans to announce the preferred contractor around early fall 2022.

BC Hydro has been communicating with the Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver Island Construction Association, North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society, and North Island Employment Foundations Society about the project work and potential jobs.

The key components of the upgrade project are new upstream and downstream rock and gravel stabilization berms, spillway gate and hoist replacement, a new overflow spillway, and an additional water seepage barrier in the middle earth-fill dam.

The hydromechanical or spillway gates work will proceed after completion of the civil work.

The project upgrades are required to strengthen the dam so that it can continue to operate safely and reliably during normal operation and following a large earthquake. Construction on the dam is expected to begin in 2023 and the upgrades are expected to be complete in 2029. The cost estimate for the project is between $497 million and $822 million. The estimate will be refined as the project progresses.

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