Work to begin on Highway 29 realignment at Halfway River

Work to realign four kilometres of Highway 29 at Halfway River will begin this month, BC Hydro says.

The highway is being realigned in several sections over the next six years to make way for the Site C dam reservoir.

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Site preparation starting at Halfway River this month includes equipment setup, vegetation clearing, archaeological work, and burning, BC Hydro says. The work will be managed by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and construction is expected to carry on through to 2022.

The existing highway at Halfway River will be flooded, and the realignment will follow the reservoir shoreline and cross the Halfway River with a 1,042-metre long bridge, according to BC Hydro.

In all, six sections and 30 kilometres of Highway 29 are being realigned due to the reservoir.

Highway realignment at Cache Creek West near Bear Flat began last fall and will resume in the spring. Construction at Cache Creek East is planned for 2020.

Site preparation at Dry Creek is also scheduled to start this year, with construction planned to start in 2020.

Site preparations at Farrell Creek and Lynx Creek are scheduled to start in 2020, with construction planned to start in 2021.

Construction will usually occur seven days a week, between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and drivers should expect delays.

BC Hydro has provided the following details about the realignments:

• Cache Creek/Bear Flat: In this area, the existing highway will be flooded by the reservoir, requiring the highway and bridge across Cache Creek to be moved. This segment has been divided into two projects: Cache Creek West and Cache Creek East. In 2018, Cache Creek East was redesigned in consultation with Indigenous groups and local property owners to reduce effects on potential burial sites and First Nation-identified areas of cultural importance. This new realignment includes a 580-metre-long bridge to cross Cache Creek. Since the new realignment differs from the realignment that was approved under the project’s Environmental Assessment Certificate, BC Hydro will be seeking an amendment to the certificate.

• Halfway River: In this segment, the existing highway will be flooded, requiring it to be moved. The new realignment will follow the reservoir shoreline and cross over the Halfway River with a 1042-
metre bridge. Since the design of the bridge differs from the design approved under the project’s Environmental Assessment Certificate, BC Hydro is seeking an amendment to the certificate. 

• Farrell Creek East: The existing highway is located within the preliminary stability and erosion impact lines for the Site C reservoir. BC Hydro will move this segment away from the top of the bank to an area that will not be impacted by the reservoir.

• Farrell Creek: The Farrell Creek segment of the highway will be flooded by the reservoir. The new realignment for this segment includes a 170-metre bridge and a 170-metre causeway across Farrell Creek.

• Dry Creek: The Dry Creek segment, which is also being moved due to flooding from the reservoir, will include installation of a large culvert.

• Lynx Creek: The proposed design for the Lynx Creek crossing includes a large highway embankment fill, a 160-metre bridge, and a 280-metre causeway crossing Lynx Creek. The Lynx Creek realignment addresses flooding from the reservoir. 

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

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