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Not to be forgotten, work underway on Ladore Dam

The work started in April and the project is anticipated to be complete in August
A large site crane lifts one of the new intake gates

The Ladore dam’s water intake gates and supporting mechanical works are getting a major upgrade.

The work started in April and the project is anticipated to be complete in August. The Ladore dam and 47 megawatt generating station is the second of three hydroelectric facilities on the Campbell River system all of which are to receive millions of dollars worth of upgrades. There are three large spillway gates at the Ladore dam that are used for flood risk management. Those gates were upgraded in 2007. There are also two intake gates at the concrete dam that pass water down a tunnel to the generating station, where it is then discharged back into the river system to enter the John Hart reservoir.

“Through BC Hydro’s dam safety program we are always looking at our facilities to determine the need for upgrades,” BC Hydro’s Stephen Watson says. “The two intake gates at the tunnel entrance were reviewed in 2009 and were found to be in poor condition. We are in the process of replacing those gates, and related equipment, this summer. This project is about improved safety certified worker access, less seepage in the tunnel, to the better inspection and maintenance of the downstream Ladore facilities.”

BC Hydro says there are two main components to the project. The first was to design and build the two new gates. The second component is the installation of the new gates along with new controls and building enclosure over the hoist mechanism. This would include the removal and disposal of the existing gates and related equipment. Canmech Industries was awarded the work to manufacture the gates, and Brymark Installations was awarded the rest of project work as the lead contractor.

Some of the other project subcontractors include RKM, Walco, Houle Electric, and Coast Cutting and Coring. About a dozen workers are on the site each day. Some of the workers not from Campbell River are staying in the ThunderBird RV Park at Tyee Spit.

“The work has been proceeding well, and given the dry weather conditions, the site is being kept safe with considerations like welding happening off-site,” says Watson.

Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams appreciates the work Hydro is doing.

“We appreciate BC Hydro’s continued efforts to increase the safety of the dams throughout the Campbell River area and the positive impact for local jobs and businesses,” Adams says.

The cost of the project is about $6 million.