The public can once again cross the road over the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse.
On Saturday, B.C. Hydro hosted a Bash on the Bridge event to celebrate the re-opening of the road connecting Wilson and Hayward streets in Mission.
The road is to officially open to motorists after the event, around 6 p.m. Saturday.
John Wou, project manager, said that the public has been patient and courteous while construction has taken place to upgrade the dam.
The six-year $748-million project was mostly completed last May.
Wou and his team were excited to see the road open again. He said they will also be doing some work on the trails near Hayward Street, updating washrooms and facilities so that the community can once again enjoy the area.
Wou added that the road has been closed for roughly six years while they have been working and that the re-opening of it is “a long time coming.”
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith, MLA said at the event that the road opening is the last piece of the decade-long work on the dam and is what the public has been most interested in.
Instead of cutting down via Lougheed Highway, motorists will once again have access over the dam, and to area trails.
“It’s a big day for the local people and I know that it’s really exciting,” D’Eith said.
During the upgrades, while 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 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.
The three new turbines and generators crank out enough power to turn on lights and computers for 33,000 Metro Vancouver homes.
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.