Halfway River bridge construction begins soon

Bridge builders will begin mobilizing at the Halfway River on Highway 29 next week, BC Hydro says.

The Eiffage-Infracon Halfway River Joint Venture has been given a $104.6-million contract to build 3.7 kilometres of new two-lane highway and a new one kilometre-long bridge crossing the Halfway River.

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"Over the next few months, equipment and materials will move to site, waste wood will be disposed, and site preparations for road and bridge construction will begin," BC Hydro said in a public notice on Jan. 3.

Work will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, BC Hydro said, and work is expected to last until fall 2022.

The existing highway alignment, including the current Halfway River Bridge, will remain open while construction of the new crossing takes place. The ministry of transportation says there will be limited traffic disruptions.

The new bridge is needed to make way for the Site C hydroelectric reservoir, expected to start filling as early as 2023.

The reservoir will flood 100-plus kilometres of the Peace River and its tributaries from Fort St. John to the Peace Canyon Dam at Hudson's Hope. The project requires 32 kilometres of Highway 29 to be realigned and four bridges to be replaced.

There is the need for three other new bridges along the 90-kilometre stretch of Highway 29: a 580-metre-long bridge at Cache Creek/Bear Flat; a 170-metre bridge at Farrell Creek; and a 160-metre bridge at Lynx Creek. Other causeway crossings will also be required at both Farrell and Lynx Creek.

The realignments are being funded by BC Hydro.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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