There's a spur of activity happening in British Columbia right now. Major construction projects in the energy and tourism sectors and condominium development are dominating the conversation, with more than 20 top projects bearing a $5.6 billion price tag. From infrastructure upgrades to real estate development, these projects are expected to create major boons for the province’s economy. Here’s a round-up of five projects currently underway in British Columbia.
South Surrey Area Reinforcement Project
One of the biggest infrastructure shakeups, BC Hydro intends to upgrade the transmission power line bringing electricity to a growing South Surrey population alongside upgrading multiple substations to continue powering homes and businesses. The upgrades are expected to bring South Surrey communities reliable electricity for five to ten years, help increase area capacity and most importantly, help bring about further economic development in the area. The project is expected to start in early 2017 to be completed by Spring 2018.
Abbotsford Airport Expansion
Upgrades to the Abbotsford Airport have been underway since 2010, with a $30 million infrastructure overhaul last completed five years ago. Currently, the expansion include the addition of a 14,000 square feet passenger terminal, runaway upgrades, further expansion of cargo and freight services as well as the inclusion of hotel and tourist-related services in order to attract major aerospace companies to the region and contribute economic growth for the city of Abbotsford. The airport hopes to be able to accommodate two million passengers per year by 2025 - a target number four times their current numbers.
Penticton Hospital Redevelopment
New additions to the Penticton Hospital include a new six-storey patient care tower expansion bringing expanded outpatient care alongside several operating rooms and minor procedure rooms, a rooftop helipad, retail space, a sterilization unit, three floors of single-occupancy inpatient rooms equipped with washrooms and more space for the UBC Faculty of Medicine program. Funding for the redevelopment is a joint venture between the provincial government, the Okanagan Simikameen Regional Hospital District and the South Okanagan Simikameen Medical Foundation. The tower is expected to open in 2019, with another phase of renovations to expand the emergency department to start soon after.
Narrows Inlet Hydro Project
Located on Chickwat Creek and Upper and Lower Ramona Creeks, 75 kilometers northwest of Vancouver and 50 kilometers north of Sechelt, the Narrows Inlet Project is an energy initiative consisting of three small-hydro generating stations intending to create up to 33 megawatts of clean renewable energy The project will also consist of interconnecting transmission lines to connect to the BC transmission power line. The construction process has already started, with an expected completion date of November 2017.
W.A.C Bennett Dam Riprap Upgrade Project
Intended to address long-term erosion protection for the BC Hydro facilities on the Peace River, the project is calling for massive renovations, including an upgrade to the dam’s core casings, resurfacing its concrete spillway, upgrades to the rip rap and continuing work on its generating station. Coming in at an estimated $170 million, these renovations are part of a ten year plan to continue investing in infrastructure renewal, and is expected to last until Fall 2019.