Road in Campbell River to close for 6 years amid upgrades to John Hart Dam

Road in Campbell River to close for 6 years amid upgrades to John Hart Dam
Photo: BC Hydro
BC Hydro says a stretch of Brewster Lake Road in Campbell River is closing for six years as construction crews upgrade the John Hart Dam. The closure starts Monday, July 10, 2023.

A road in Campbell River is closing for six years.

Brewster Lake Road across the John Hart Dam is scheduled to close at 8 a.m. July 10, when crews start on extensive seismic upgrades to the dam, according to BC Hydro.

Stephen Watson, a spokesperson for the company, says in a statement that road closure signage will be placed in various areas and the detour route is Highway 19.

He says that during the years-long road closure, there are “no other viable road detour alternatives” than using the highway to loop around.

“The six-year road closure is required for the John Hart Dam Seismic Upgrade Project,” said Watson, noting this isn’t the first time the road has closed. “The road across the dam was closed for about three years from 2015 to 2018 during the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project.”

BC Hydro says new water seepage barriers and stability improvements to earth-fill dams, new spillway gates and hoist systems and a new overflow spillway on the main concrete dam are being installed as part of the upgrades.

“We appreciate peoples’ understanding of the need for the closure to allow us to complete this important seismic upgrade work,” added Watson.

The road should reopen in the summer of 2029.

Once the upgrades project is complete by 2030, the dam will be able to withstand a major earthquake and safely pass water downstream after the event has taken place, according to BC Hydro.

The project began back in 2014 following a six-year, $10 million Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis, and more information can be found online here.


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