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Delta conveys tunnel power line preference

BC Hydro notes that the project is at an early stage and a project timeline hasn't been established.

The City of Delta prefers an underground line within the new crossing for the transmission line relocation that will be part of the George Massey Tunnel replacement project.

Council at its Feb. 13 meeting agreed with the recommendation from the engineering department to convey the city’s preference to BC Hydro, following a presentation from representatives with the Crown corporation. It’s the same position the city had earlier conveyed to the province.

BC Hydro operates a 12-km, 230-kilovolt power line from Arnott Substation in Delta to Steveston Substation in Richmond, serving approximately 30,000 customers.

Approximately 700 metres of the power line is underground in the existing tunnel. With the tunnel planned for decommissioning, BC Hydro needs to relocate the section of the power line crossing the Fraser River.

BC Hydro is exploring three options including an overhead line, an underground line within the new Fraser River Tunnel and a separate underground line which the Crown corporation says would have the biggest environmental impact.

BC Hydro notes that the project is at an early stage and a project timeline hasn't been established.

The design for each alternative is conceptual and subject to change as the project advances.

It is anticipated the project will be constructed primarily within the existing provincial right-of-way. Initial studies identified potential impacts for each of the conceptual alternatives, which will be studied further with mitigation measures developed and implemented, a report to council notes.

Council also heard a presentation from Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure representatives who provided an update on the tunnel replacement project, part of the overall Highway 99 Tunnel Program which includes the replacement tunnel, as well as several corridor improvement projects.

An eight-lane replacement tunnel is to replace the current crossing and is to be completed in 2030.

Council was told that once construction begins, staging and construction areas will be required on the Delta side of the river near where the new, wider tunnel will be built, including the fabrication of elements on Deas Island. To reduce the number of trucks on the road, delivery of steel and other components to the sites will also occur by river.