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BC Hydro asking large trucks to avoid Brewster Lake Road in Campbell River

Bridge near John Hart Dam has been derated to 15 tons
The Brewster Lake Road steel Bailey bridge, beside the John Hart Dam, has been temporarily derated until upgrades are made. BC Hydro photo

Effective immediately, all vehicles weighing over 15 tons are being told to avoid using the Brewster Lake Road which passes over John Hart Dam in Campbell River.

BC Hydro is placing temporary vehicle weight signage near the bridge area and on either side of the dam.

“As part of the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project, the former timber trestle bridge that crossed over the old penstock corridor was replaced with a steel Bailey bridge to allow for heavy construction traffic,” said BC Hydro representative, Stephen Watson. “The vehicle rating was 70 tons. BC Hydro just completed a bridge assessment, and due to some road decking deterioration, it has now been derated to 15 tons.”

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BC Hydro is planning to upgrade the bridge.

“This will largely be the re-decking the road surface across the steel Bailey bridge,” said Watson.

Work may take place in May or June, and last about a week.

“The road may need to be closed 24/7 during the repair work,” Watson noted. “We will advise the community of the road closure dates in advance and update the temporary road closure signage at the dam.”

Once the bridge repairs are complete, BC Hydro encourages heavily weighted industrial traffic, such as a tandem dump truck, to use alternative routes instead of Brewster Lake Road.

Traffic congestion and potential incidents may be caused by large vehicles over by the spillway gates section of the dam.

The upcoming John Hart Dam Seismic Upgrade Project is planned to begin in summer 2023, and around that time, the approximate six year road closure to public traffic will begin.

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