The John Hart project continues to change the face of the landscape around the power generating station, and the public has only a few days remaining to walk across the front of the generation station
The next phase of the project includes the closing off and re-direction of a section of the Canyon View Trail. The final day the trail will be available to the public is May 31, and it will be closed beginning June 1.
“There were many complicated and important issues surrounding the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project when we engaged the Campbell River community, and one of the top points of interests was ‘what are you going to do to our trail?’” says BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “The approximate one-hour Canyon View Trail loop along either side of the Campbell River is a real gem to the community and BC Hydro heard that very clearly. And the good news is the broader trail loop through BC Hydro property will be maintained throughout the project construction period.”
Through project mitigation and compensation, in 2013, BC Hydro constructed the Station View Trail that branches off the Canyon View Trail near the bottom of First Island, and off the Millennium Trail up above. Directional signage will be posted on June 1 so people know where to go and the distances involved. The detoured trail will add about 400 metres to the broader trail loop.
The Station View Trail includes a wooden bridge that crosses the three penstocks. From the bridge, views include overlooking the generating station and Campbell River downstream, and on the other side, the construction site beside the underground portals. The trail also passes through a forested area.
And the good news is the existing parking lot by the trail system and the river will remain open. BC Hydro says people will be able to walk from the parking lot along a short section of trail to view, from a safe distance, the water coming out of the station. The trail will be closed off just where the steps go down to the front of the station. The area where the commercial operator Destiny River Adventures enters the river will be unaffected by these changes. Up above, the Canyon View Trail will be closed off at the Millennium Trail intersection, to then connect to the Station View Trail.
“Once the new hydroelectric facilities are commissioned in fall 2018, there will be a period of decommissioning the old hydroelectric facilities in early 2019,” says Watson. “Once that’s done, the section of the Canyon View Trail that we are closing off now will be put back, somewhere near the river. Those details are a ways off yet and have not been designed.”