Ruskin Dam and powerhouse construction upgrades will force the closure of nearby recreational areas for the entire six years of the project, reopening in 2018.
Closures include the BC Hydro Ruskin recreation site downstream of Ruskin Dam, the Lower Railway Trail parking lot, and the lower part of the Reservoir Trail.
BC Hydro’s Judy Dobrowolski said the sites were being closed for public safety and will be used as “lay-down areas” by contractors for construction materials.
But she said visitors can still access Hayward facilities from the Stave River parking lot, which BC Hydro has expanded by 80 parking spots. The Railway Trail will also be open.
“I would say that the real effect comes from people wanting to access the Lower Stave. They won’t be able to as efficiently as they could from the Ruskin recreation site,” she said.
As well, anglers who want to fish in areas closed to the public are encouraged to access the river by boat and not on land.
The project will also require the shutdown of Hayward Street from Wilson to Keystone for all six years, with access provided for local residents only.
Hydro is waiting for final approval from the BC Utilities Commission, but that is expected imminently and construction is scheduled to begin immediately.
A detailed overview of the project, including impacts to the public, can be seen at www.bchydro.com.