BC Hydro burying power lines at Downie Timber

BC Hydro is spending $1.5 million to bury power lines at Downie Timber that it says represent a safety hazard.

From left: Downie Timber's Asa Lishman

BC Hydro is spending $1.5 million to bury power lines at Downie Timber that it says represent a safety hazard.

“BC Hydro is pleased to start this important safety project that will reduce the likelihood of machinery contacting our electrical equipment in the Downie sawmill yard, protect the safety of Downie mill workers and reduce power outages to the community of Revelstoke,” wrote spokesperson Jen Walker-Larsen in an e-mail.

The project will see the power lines that run by the mill on Vernon Street taken down and placed underground. Another section of power line that runs parallel to Vernon Avenue, between Mill Street and Downie Street will be removed.

Walker-Larsen said there has been numerous incidents where sawmill machinery has contacted the lines. There have been no injuries to date, but there is the risk of fatalities and power outages,” she wrote, adding that in 2012, a machine came in contact with one of the lines, causing a two hour outage in Revelstoke.

BC Hydro is also reconfiguring the feeder circuits that transmit power from the Illecillewaet sub-station to the community.

BC Hydro warned that there could be power disruptions as a result of the construction. Part of the work involves upgrading the power line and replacing 19 poles on Fifth Street East, between Vernon Avenue and Mackenzie Avenue.