Feb 16, 2024

BC Hydro has advised the City they will be upgrading electrical service in Colwood with the installation of hydro poles and wires along the east side Veterans Memorial Parkway between Allandale Road and Latoria Road. Poles will be located at the far edge of the road right-of-way to allow for future expansion of sidewalk, cycling, and road infrastructure.

Increasing capacity for existing residents and new facilities

The new lines will increase our community’s hydroelectric capacity, adding system resilience, reinforcing service to existing customers, and enabling the operation of large new facilities like the Royal BC Museum Collections and Research Building and the Long Term Care facility which are important new amenities in our community.

The hierarchy of provincial services like BC Hydro in relationship to local government means that the City has no direct control over most aspects of the planning and scheduling of large infrastructure projects such as this.

Protecting natural vegetation

That said, Colwood staff have been working with BC Hydro to advocate for the protection of natural vegetation. The Parks team is working with groups like Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Friends of Havenwood Park to salvage as many plants as possible beforehand, and plan for restoration work once BC Hydro work is complete. The Royal Bay development team has also salvaged trees that will be replanted along the border of Latoria Creek Park.

This work will require tree and vegetation management by arborists contracted by BC Hydro using Provincial standards, including:

  • Retention of low-growing vegetation/tree species
  • Retention and creation of wildlife trees
  • Retention (pruning) of large wind-firm trees
  • Tree removal where no other option exists
  • Riparian vegetation work methods

There is no direct cost to the City for this BC Hydro service upgrade. In an effort to maintain reasonable hydro rates across the Province, BC Hydro does not underground hydro lines unless there is an operational need, because the cost is significantly higher. Part of the cost of this service upgrade is funded by the Royal BC Museum project in Royal Bay. A request to underground the service currently being installed along Veterans Memorial Parkway would increase the cost by an estimated $10M to $15M which would significantly impact Colwood property tax rates.

Work may cause minor traffic delays

Traffic within the work zone will be reduced to single lane and minor traffic delays are expected. Traffic control personnel will be on site to assist drivers.

Questions about this work can be directed to vancouverisland@bchydro.com

Media contact

Sandra Russell, Communications Manager

Find this release online at www.colwood.ca/News

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