Hydro provides update on Site C stress fracture

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro has released an update on the situation regarding the 400 metre-long tension crack on the north bank of the Site C dam site that was first revealed late last month.

BC Hydro says that the stress fracture has not grown since their last official update on February 24th, when the Crown Corporation broke news of the crack. A design team along with technical experts in slope stability have undertaken geotechnical assessments of the fracture. Recordings taking from instruments, including survey prisms and inclinometers, show that the slope around the crack is stable. Hydro adds that while there was some initial movement of soil, it has now stabilized. This area of unstable soil was apparently already slated to be removed as part of engineering new riverbanks against which the dam would be anchored.

A drill rig has also been mobilized to drill and install additional instruments to gain a more detailed understanding of the crack while experts examine the data.

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BC Hydro says that no construction work is taking place in the area of the tension crack until a plan is in place to safely remove the material while maintaining the slope’s stability. A two-stage remediation plan is said be in development to deal with the crack. The first stage would include the construction of a toe berm to keep the area stable, with work possibly starting on the berm in a few days’ time. The second stage would focus on allowing resumption of work on the north bank. BC Hydro expects to complete the remediation work for the tension crack within the overall project budget and schedule.

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