ARROW LAKES TRANSMISSION LINE
The transmission line Environmental Management Report was reviewed and approved by federal and provincial environmental agencies as part of the three-year Arrow Lakes Generating Station Environmental Assessment and Review. Detailed studies of wildlife, water resources, vegetation, archaeology and First Nations traditional use were considered in the construction, and will continue to be used in the operation of the transmission line to ensure minimal environmental impact.
In an effort to preserve natural habitat along the route, “wildlife trees” were retained and “habitat piles” were created using debris and five to eight metre tree stumps to provide additional habitat for small wildlife, insects and birds throughout the transmission line corridor.
Columbia Power Corporation (Columbia Power) and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) are committed to mitigating adverse environmental effects on public and private lands, while providing fair and equitable compensation for the property rights that were required to construct, operate and maintain the transmission line.
PROJECT INFORMATIONThe alignment, access plan, centre-line cutting and final surveying of the transmission line project were completed in 1999. Construction of access roads and logging of the transmission line right-of-way began in the spring of 2000 in preparation for the transmission line construction.
Crews cleared and conducted burns along the right-of-way in the fall of 2000 and began the installation of the double circuit structures in areas where Columbia Power lines would share structures with existing BC Hydro lines. The new structures were built to replace BC Hydro’s single circuit structures, allowing both lines to be run off the same structure, preventing the need for widening of the right-of-way.
Work resumed on the transmission line in the early spring of 2001, when the last remaining poles were installed. Several poles atop Mount Sentinel had to be air lifted into place by helicopter due to limited access into the area by larger vehicles. Once all the poles were in place, work began on the stringing of the lines. The project was completed in the summer of 2001, with the exception of the rehabilitation and deactivation of some roads, the removal of some culverts, hydro-seeding along the route and the installation of gates, fencing and signage, which was completed in the spring of 2002.
The Arrow Lakes to Selkirk Substation Transmission Line employed approximately 150 workers and management staff, with approximately 75% of the workforce being local. The project was also divided into sections, which provided more opportunities for local contractors and forestry workers.