BC Hydro completes Peace River diversion tunnels

FORT ST JOHN: BC Hydro has reached a new milestone on the Site C project with the completion of the two Peace River diversion tunnels. Four gate structures, located at the upstream and downstream entrances of both tunnels, have also been completed.

This work was completed during a period of scaled back activity on the project due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 18, BC Hydro has prioritized work required to achieve river diversion in fall 2020.

The tunnels, located on the north bank of the river, are approximately 750 metres long and 11 metres in diameter. Beginning later this year, they will be used to reroute the Peace River around the dam site, allowing for the construction of the earthfill dam across the main river channel.

Excavations on the tunnels began in summer 2018 and were completed in late 2019. The tunnel lining process, which involved using a custom-built slip form to enable concrete to cure in a perfect circle, began in summer 2019 and was completed in May 2020.

Beginning in mid-June, the area around Site C on the Peace and Moberly rivers will be permanently closed to boaters while debris management systems are installed across the river channels.

BC Hydro has set up a seasonal portage program to transport non-motorized vessels (up to 20') to move boaters around the construction area. The program operates between the Halfway River boat launch and the Peace Island Park boat launch from June 15 to September 15.

BC Hydro remains on schedule to begin diverting the Peace River in September 2020. River diversion will be in place until the Site C reservoir is filled in 2023.

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