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Pile-driving to stabilize hydro tower leaning over river

Work is underway to shore up the tower supporting the 500KV line – marked in green. It did not fall but leaned when the high waters of the Fraser eroded it. A neighbouring tower supporting the 230KV line downstream toppled into the river July 4. - File
Work is underway to shore up the tower supporting the 500KV line – marked in green. It did not fall but leaned when the high waters of the Fraser eroded it. A neighbouring tower supporting the 230KV line downstream toppled into the river July 4.
— image credit: File

BC Hydro crews are this week driving piles next to a high-voltage transmission tower along the Fraser River in Surrey that was destabilized by high water in June.

The same erosion by the river caused a nearby tower supporting a different power line to fall July 4, triggering a large-scale power outage and forcing the closure of the Port Mann Bridge and other roads near the Cape Horn interchange where wires were dangling dangerously.

Workers will drive eight 100-foot-long steel piles 36 feet into the river bed around the footings of the leaning tower.

Rip rap has been placed to shore up the base of the tower over the past three weeks.

The pile-driving will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Aug. 12.

Once finished, support beams will be built to form a new foundation for the tower, which will be straightened.

Hydro has so far been using guy wires to hold up the leaning tower.

Both sets of power lines remain de-energized.

BC Hydro has yet to say how it will devise a permanent solution to repair and re-power the 230- and 500-kilovolt transmission lines.

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