John Hart, Ladore and Strathcona each have three spillway gates. All will be upgraded, with work having already started on one gate at John Hart dam, and the rest set to be undertaken from April to October 2007. Much of the electrical and protection and control work will begin towards the end of 2006.

Brymark Installations, of Vancouver, Canada, was awarded the tender work for this year. The two sub-contractors, Vicar Electric and T-Mar, are both based in Campbell River. Approximately 12 crews with equipment and mobile trailers began appearing at John Hart dam on 20 July. The spillway gate refurbishments are planned to take place from about April to October as this is when inflows are at their lowest.

Last autumn, BC Hydro increased the dam core heights at Strathcona and John Hart to better accommodate an extremely large flood event.

‘These water control facilities are 50 to 60 years old, and have now reached a time where we will be investing significant funds to refurbish and upgrade to new technologies, and to also provide secondary power supply through on-site diesel generators,’ said BC Hydro’s acting John Hart Plant manager, Sandy Reid. ‘The gates will essentially remain as they are by moving up and down on a track system, but all the mechanics and supporting equipment will be upgraded for better efficiencies and long-term use.’