The ILM Transmission Project scope consists of the construction of a new single circuit 500 kV Lattice Steel Transmission Line between two existing BC Hydro electrical substations: Nicola Substation near Merritt and the Meridian Substation in Coquitlam. The 620 new steel towers will carry 250 kilometres of electrical transmission lines over a topography that ranges from 6,000-foot peaks to grasslands and swamps – this is the overall scope of the project, which began construction in November 2011 and is scheduled for completion by November 2014.
The new alignment will parallel existing 500kV lines for the majority of the route and is mostly along existing right of way (ROW). When the existing line was constructed in the 1970s, additional ROW was acquired in anticipation of future expansion. To accommodate the construction of the new transmission line, the majority of the ROW required logging, clearing and access road construction and upgrades.
The ILM project is the largest transmission project undertaken by BC Hydro in the last 20 years. It will expand the capacity of the transmission system that brings generated power from the north and southern interior of the province to the load centre in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. As part of the team, Binnie provided survey services throughout the alignment corridor; our survey teams were required to work in remote locations only accessible by helicopter and in some cases in extreme weather conditions.
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