Travellers on the Gold River Highway can expect construction delays near the entrance to the John Hart Generating Station beginning Aug. 12.

Hydro entrance safety work to begin

The road into Campbell River's John Hart Dam generating station will have a new look

The road into the hydro generating station will have a new look that is expected to be safer for vehicle traffic while preparing BC Hydro for the upcoming John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project.

Work is set begin to shift the road entrance about 50 metres up Highway 28.

This will provide for acceleration and deceleration lanes, and turning lanes, within the highway for traffic entering or leaving the John Hart site. It will also allow for better sight-lines.

“BC Hydro will start with tree removals the week of August 12 and then shift to the earthworks,” says BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson.

Hydro is working with the Ministry of Transportation on the traffic management plan, and speeds along this short stretch of highway will be reduced to 50 km/h from 80 km/h.

There will also be short-duration highway closures during some of the tree felling and the public road leading to the generating station and trail will have more short-term traffic stoppages given the amount of work required.

For river recreation users, the work will still allow for some of the eight parking spots near the John Hart entrance road to be accessible during the approximate eight-week construction period.

BC Hydro advises all the parking spots will be re-opened once the modification work is finished.

“BC Hydro apologizes for any inconvenience this work may cause for travellers along Highway 28,” says Watson. “When complete by early October, the traffic pattern will be much safer, especially for vehicles coming down General Hill and turning left into the John Hart site.”

Hydro work also continues on the new John Hart trail and parking lot re-alignments, with the new Station View Trail expected to be open just before Labour Day.

 

$1 Billion

 

The work is all part of the billion-dollar John Hart project that remains on budget and on target for the 2018 in-service date.

“BC Hydro has a set date of August 30 for the final John Hart project proposals and financial submissions from the competing bidding teams,” says Watson. “There will then be a review period before BC Hydro announces the preferred team, likely about six weeks later.”

Once the preferred team is notified and publicly announced, there will then be a period of final negotiation before the contract is signed.

“BC Hydro is just as excited as the community in getting this fascinating major project underway,” Watson said in a news release. “While we need to acknowledge there are some impacts to a project of this size, the overall benefits are significant.”