BC Hydro is prepping to do some hydroelectric work near the Puntledge River.

Spokesperson Stephen Watson says crews will be removing old sections of the concrete penstock, anchor blocks and the old powerhouse building (a.k.a the 25 Cycle Building).

He notes the major reason for the work revolves around public safety. The hydroelectric infrastructure has been around since 1912, and have gone into disrepair over the years, increasing safety hazards.

The BC Hydro Commission, who came before BC Hydro, completed significant upgrades to the hydroelectric system in the 1950s. Once that work was done, some of the old infrastructure that was no longer a part of the new system, was left abandoned.

Watson advises residents to avoid the area while the work is done. “Public safety and worker safety is the main point here,” he says.

The total project cost is around $7 million and the deconstruction work will be completed by the FMI/K’omoks First Nation joint venture.

Watson notes the work is slated to start later this month and last through to the fall.

Access points to areas like the end of Powerhouse Road, or near the Duncan Bay Logging Road, will be closed off starting around mid-June to the end of September and potentially a month or so beyond for the clean-up work.