FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – In a story published in the Journal of Commerce, BC Hydro has put forward preliminary design plans for the relocation and realignment of Highway 29, a key component of the Site C dam construction work.
The 83 kilometre long project reservoir will be on average two to three times the current width of the river and will flood portions of the current highway.
As a result the river valley flooding will require the realignment of about 30 kilometers of Highway 29 between Charlie Lake and Hudson’s Hope and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure investigation and analysis is underway to finalize alignment, bridge, and roadwork design at six highway locations.
The definition design has resulted in a trio of preferred alignments at Lynx Creek, Farrell Creek and Halfway River segments, and in addition there are three corridors in which an alignment will be determined, pending further analysis at Bear Flat/Cache Creek, Farrell Creek East and Dry Creek.
The flooding of the Bear Flat/Cache Creek segment will require the relocation of about eight and half kilometres of the current highway, and it would cross Cache Creek with a 200 metre bridge and a 240 metre causeway.
About four kilometres of the highway will be flooded by the reservoir at the Halfway River segment, and the new route would follow the reservoir shoreline and cross over the Halfway with a 300 metre bridge and a 650 metre causeway.
At the Farrell Creek East segment, located within the preliminary stability and erosion reservoir impact lines, up to six kilometres will be relocated.
Construction of these segments is scheduled to begin in the summer of next year but not to be completed until the fall of 2021.
In the meantime, the Ministry says a $7.9 million dollar road work project is underway to improve access to the dam construction site through rural roads immediately south of Fort St. John, and the contract for that work has been awarded to a Prince George Firm, A.L. Sims and Sons.