Work continues on the Rockland Road/Highway 19A roundabout as well as the Highway 19A upgrade project on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror

COVID-19 measures delay removal of power lines along Highway 19A until 2021

Scheduling of BC Hydro crews required for the underground powerline work aren’t available this year

Moving the powerlines along Highway 19A underground – between Rockland Road and the Big Rock Boat Ramp – will be postponed to 2021.

This change to the original schedule is caused by efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 this spring/summer, a press release from the City of Campbell River says.

While the majority of roadworks in the area will be completed this year by the City of Campbell River’s contractor as expected, the amended schedule is a result of COVID-19’s impacts on crews and scheduling for BC Hydro, who are required for the underground powerline work.

“We know the community is eager to see this work completed and to see the benefits of the many upgrades included as a part of this intensive project,” said Mayor Andy Adams. “We look forward to continuing work with our partners, and Campbell River residents, to see this project complete as soon as possible.”

The Highway 19A upgrades project has already seen significant underground services replaced and work is now focused above ground to create the new roadway, sidewalks, park spaces, curbs, bike lanes and parking areas that are a part of the overall plan. Most of this work can still be completed this year.

It is currently estimated that the work to move powerlines into the already-installed underground infrastructure could begin in late-January, though it will depend on weather and crew availability during the winter season. The landscaping throughout the full project was already scheduled to be completed in spring 2021 to align with optimal planting conditions – though that work is off of roadways and will not affect or impede traffic.

“COVID-19 has affected all of us in many different ways, and despite the best efforts of all involved, including other project partners such as BC Hydro, this is the reality of the changes and delays we saw in the spring, playing out to the end of the year,” said deputy city manager, Ron Neufeld.

RELATED: Campbell River to restart Highway 19A construction

Construction work along the highway is expected to be complete in November, and Rockland Road will reopen then and remain open through 2021.

For more information on the project and what’s to come, visit CampbellRiver.ca/Construction.

RELATED: Highway 19A upgrade will close Rockland Road until November

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