Plaque had been on building for years.

Powering up, to light up Metro Vancouver

Ruskin dam refit on eastern border of Maple Ridge done, more or less

The new generators are humming, the five new seismically strengthened gates are working and the old power house has been renovated, with the ugly switchyard moved atop the hill to make Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse a lot more pleasing to the eye.

The six-year $748-million project, is complete for all intents and purposes and the powerhouse is humming along on all three new turbines and generators, cranking out enough power to turn on lights and computers for 33,000 Metro Vancouver homes.

But a big question most people may be asking is – when does Hayward Street atop the dam re-open – so commuters have another shortcut option to get them past tie-ups on Lougheed Highway or Dewdney Trunk Road.

That won’t be for awhile, says project manager Boyd Mason. Maybe next year, even.

Agreeements have to be worked out with the District of Mission, the power generating site itself has to be secured, while, even the concrete has yet to be poured for the road, which will have two lanes instead of the previous one, along with a sidewalk and bike lane.

In addition, the nearby recreational areas and parking lots need restoring so the official ribbon cutting for the whole project is months way, possibly this October.

“There were a lot of time and logistical challenges to this work,” Mason said. The installation of new turbines from Brazil, complemented the rebuilt generators that produce the power.

That will provide a boost of power of about eight per cent.

“So we’re using the same amount of water, we’re just getting more out it,” he said.

All of the work had to be done while the station kept running and pumping out power. Mason compared the task to doing a brake and engine overhaul on your vehicle while it was driving down the highway.

Mason explained during a tour of the site Tuesday that when excavating for installing a new berm on one side of the new dam, crews found part of an abandoned railway. Farther up the slope, a First Nations cultural site dating back 9,000 years was discovered, and then left in place, according to the wishes of the Kwantlen First Nation.

The project, with five massive spillway gates replacing the previous seven, was built to withstand a one-in-10,000-year earthquake, with the main goal of keeping Hayward Lake from breaching the dam.

A main symbol of the dam is the original light bulb switched on when the dam was completed in 1930, and which has remained lit since.

It hasn’t been decided but the bulb could find a permanent home in the Stave Falls Powerhouse Visitor Centre upstream.

A major last remaining piece are decorative concrete plaques that soon will be attached to the spillway showing First Nations designs.

Dates for an official opening and ribbon cutting haven’t been determined.

Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall and Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith toured the project along with B.C. Hydro president Chris O’Riley.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Original light bulb, from 1930, continues to burn. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

MLA Bob D’Eith, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall, project manager Boyd Mason and BC Hydro president Chris O’Riley at Ruskin Dam. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LETTER: Hear your postie’s plea about dogs

When a canine bites, it’s seldom the animal but rather the owner at fault

Gifted tablet help connect patients with loved-ones

Amid COVID, Ridge Meadows Hospital continues to receive a variety of different kinds of donations

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read