Tension crack appears near access road at 1,100-MW Site C hydro project

BC Hydro is assessing a 400-meter-long tension crack that appeared during construction of a haul road to support excavation work at the 1,100-MW Site C hydro project.

According to a press release, BC Hydro and its contractor (A.L. Sims and Sons) have installed instruments to measure and monitor stability around the tension crack. The project’s independent engineer and technical experts in slope stability are assessing the crack. While this assessment is under way, 30 road construction workers have been reassigned to other work, BC Hydro says.

There was some initial movement of soil but it has now stabilized, the utility says. This area of unstable soil was slated to be removed as part of engineering new, stable banks for dam construction. BC Hydro’s next step is to determine how to continue soil removal while maintaining stability of the slope.

On Feb. 8, BC Hydro announced that four teams had been shortlisted to supply the hydro-mechanical equipment for the Site C Clean Energy Project: Andritz Hydro Canada Inc., ATB Riva Calzoni S.p.A., Hans Kunz GmbH and HMI — Groupe LAR G.P. A contract award is anticipated in the fall of 2017.

The Site C project is being built on the Peace River near Fort St. John. Site excavation work has been under way for the past 19 months. There are more than 1,500 workers on the construction site, BC Hydro says.

Reports indicate the crack, on the north bank of the river, was discovered Feb. 18 and is upstream of the dam construction site.

Site C is expected to cost US$6.3 billion to develop and is anticipated to generate about 5,100 GWh of electricity annually.

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