Your Weekly North Vancouver Island Construction News

May 15, 2024

In this week’s Editor’s Note:

  • Courtenay: Proposed $6.5+ million pedestrian bridge
  • Saratoga Beach: Rezoning application denied for over 400 lots.
  • Campbell River: General contractor announced for BC Hydro’s Ladore Spillway Seismic Upgrade Project 
The City of Courtenay has received funding for a pedestrian bridge crossing the Courtenay River at 6th Street. A four-metre-wide symmetrical cable-stayed design was chosen for the project by council in December 2020.

Courtenay: Proposed $6.5+ million pedestrian bridge

The City has given first through third reading for a loan authorization bylaw that will provide part of the funding for the 6th Street Pedestrian Bridge project. The city was awarded $2.5 million in grant funds from Infrastructure Canada’s Active Transportation Fund earlier this year, but estimated project costs have increased since 2022 when the project was first approved. The current financial plan estimates the project cost at $6,588,900, leaving a budget shortfall of $702,825. Staff are proposed to increase the planned long-term debt from $1 million to $2.5 million using the city’s approval-free zone that does not require electoral approval. In addition to the grant, the City allocated $1 million from the provincial Growing Communities Fund in November of 2023. This means 38% of the project will be funded by debt under this loan authorization bylaw. Under the terms of the grant, the project must be complete by January 31, 2026.

Saratoga Beach: Rezoning application denied for over 400 lots

Both the Electrical Area Services Committee and the Board have denied the rezoning application for up to 544 units with 432 lots including multifamily components. The project was reviewed as last month’s EASC committee where Staff recommended denying the application primarily due to the viability of the proposed rainwater management strategy, the necessary commitment of capacity from the water system, and issues around housing and parks. At that meeting, after an hour discussion, Council decided to review the application again at the May meeting. The properties include 87 acres, between McLarey Avenue, Oyster River Way, and the Old Island Highway. The project has an existing Master Development Agreement on 36 acres with 143 lots, dating back to 2011.

Campbell River: General contractor announced for BC Hydro’s Ladore Spillway Seismic Upgrade Project 

BC Hydro has awarded the contract for general contractor for the Ladore Spillway Seismic Upgrade Project to Aecon-EBC Ladore General Partnership. The Aecon-EBC Ladore General Partnership will lead the construction work to build the new Ladore Dam spillway gates and hoist system, control and auxiliary buildings, and additional anchoring the spillway piers to the bedrock. The contractor will proceed to construction once the project has completed the BC Utilities Commission regulatory review process that’s currently underway, and received all approvals including funding. Site preparation work is planned to begin in early 2025 with the seismic upgrade work on the first of the three spillway gates starting in 2026. One spillway gate will be replaced per year so that we maintain operational flexibility for flood risk management. In July 2023, the Aecon-EBC General Partnership started the civil work for the John Hart Dam Seismic Upgrade Project.

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