In December 1998, Peter Kiewit Sons Co., a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation, began work on this C$209 million fixed lump-sum design-build project to construct a 170-MW hydroelectric powerplant. Located 11 km. northwest of Castlegar, the project was in an environmentally sensitive part of British Columbia. Therefore, a specially designed tailrace was constructed to prevent loss of fish and fish habitat in the Columbia River.
The scope included construction of an 18-story reinforced concrete powerhouse, a 427-metre concrete-faced rock-filled dam and a 1,500-metre concrete-lined approach channel; installation of 30 305-mm.-dia. deep wells along the reservoir and across the approach channel mouth and two 85-MW Kaplan turbine generators; reconstruction of 30 hectares of wetlands and wildlife habitat; and roadway realignment of the Robson-Broadwater Hwy.
The project required drilling and shooting 500,000 cu. metres of rock in the powerhouse and 150,000 cu. metres for channel excavation, while almost 4 million cu. metres of overburden were moved for dam embankment fill. Kiewit mobilized an on-site concrete batch plant to produce 70,000 cu. metres for the powerhouse and 30,000 cu. metres for the intake channel lining.
The project team overcame many challenges, including reducing the original 78-mo. schedule by 22 months, and allowing the client to take advantage of favorable power sales a full season early.