The first pieces of penstock for the Site C dam will be hauled to site starting Wednesday night.
Officials from BC Hydro, Le Groupe LAR, and the AFDE partnership gave local media and elected officials a tour through the workshop where the six penstocks for the dam are being fabricated in Fort St. John.
The pipes measure 80 metres long and are 10 metres high, and will channel the Peace River through to the turbines that will produce power when the dam is put into operation.
The steel for the penstocks was manufactured in Hamilton and sent to a LAR workshop in Quebec to be cut and shaped before being shipped by rail to Fort St. John.
In Fort St. John, the pieces are being assembled into 14 separate segments that will make up each penstock. Those segments will delivered to the dam site to be installed as they are completed.
There are 17 welders in the Fort St. John shop, 10 of them local. Another 20 welders will be needed for installation at the dam site. LAR officials say they are looking for more local welders to add to its workforce, as well as other skilled tradespeople and journeymen needed for the work.
Laprairie Haul will start moving the first completed sections of the penstocks to the dam site starting Wednesday night. About 15 people will be involved in the transport.
Work is expected to last two to three years.
Here's a sneak peek inside the shop, April 17, 2019.