BC Hydro and Revelstoke RCMP are partnering on new Highway 23 North safety measures in anticipation of increased traffic due to the Mica Units 5 and 6 project.
A May 12 joint media release by the two organizations says the initiative is designed to make the highway safer for the public and wildlife. BC Hydro is providing funding to the RCMP to do additional patrols along the 136-kilometre stretch from Revelstoke to Mica. The partnership is ongoing for the next four years during construction at Mica Dam.
In addition BC Hydro will be adding additional signage warning of high wildlife use areas, and will provide a highway safety package for all Mica workers.
“Safety is BC Hydro’s top priority,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s Executive Vice President of Generation. “We share the concerns of local government, First Nations, and stakeholders on the Mica Units 5 and 6 Core Committee about increased traffic on Highway 23 North during construction of the Mica Project and the need for these measures to increase road safety.”
“When we were approached by BC Hydro we realized that this partnership just made good sense,” said Revelstoke RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Rod Wiebe. “It will enable us to dedicate added resources to Highway 23 North at a time when traffic levels and collisions are on the rise. This in turn contributes to our commitment to safe homes and safe communities.”
On-site work for the Mica 5 and 6 Project is underway with the contractors arriving at Mica Generating Station and setting up work areas. The project has an in-service date of 2014 for Mica Unit 5 and 2015 for Mica Unit 6.
The additional two units will increase the generating capacity of the facility from 1,805 megawatts to approximately 2,805 megawatts, surpassing BC Hydro’s current largest facility – GM Shrum Generating Station on the Peace River System at 2,730 megawatts.