|Construction period||June 2012-September 2017|
HOCHTIEF Group Company Flatiron is upgrading the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse, which is 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Vancouver on the Stave River in Canada. The dam, built in the 1930s, provides power to homes and businesses across British Columbia. Flatiron is now working on two separate contracts on the dam.
The first, started in June 2012, includes seismically upgrading the dam and the powerhouse by constructing new piers, installing new spillway gates, constructing a two-lane bridge and powerhouse superstructure upgrade, and installing a new powerhouse crane and elevator.
The second includes refurbishing the dam’s three generating units. Crews are conducting repairs and replacing a section of the penstock. They will also install a new intake gate systems powered by a new hydraulic unit. The aging dam still has most of the original controls and systems from the 1930s, so crews will also replace mechanical and electrical systems.
Crews are faced with tight quarters at the intake, within the powerhouse and spillway tunnels, but also on the face of the dam itself. Crews use engineered platforms to do all the demolition, drilling and new pier construction on the spillway. The project requires close coordination with the plant operators—the existing facility must remain online and active during construction.
The area around the dam is used for recreation and includes some environmentally sensitive areas. The reservoir behind the dam is a drinking water source, and downstream of the dam thousands of salmon come to spawn every fall. Flatiron is following a comprehensive environmental management plan to ensure the area is protected.
Upon completion of the upgrades in 2017, the facility will be able to withstand a 10,000-year earthquake. The upgraded facility will provide power to 33,000 homes.