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BC Hydro starts replacing power line spanning Fraser River

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BC Hydro is now restringing transmission lines across the Fraser River that were pulled down when a tower fell into the river during high water last summer.

Hydro officials say the 230-kilovolt line that was knocked out of service July 4 should now be re-energized by the end of November – in time for the coldest months of the winter season when electricity demand peaks.

It's part of a circuit that serves 45,000 customers in Surrey.

The July incident caused by river erosion triggered a large-scale power outage and forced the closure of the Port Mann Bridge and other roads near the Cape Horn interchange where wires were dangling dangerously.

Engineers opted not to replace the fallen tower and will instead string specialized high-tension, low-sag lines over a longer span between strengthened towers further back from the river.

A low flying helicopter was used Saturday to fly industrial guide ropes between towers on the north and south sides of the river.

The ropes are now being used to pull the power lines across using a tension machine set up near the intersection of McBride Drive and King Road in Surrey. The tension machine will run during daylight hours for approximately one week.

A second 500-kilovolt transmission line that crosses the river beside 230-kv line was repaired and re-energized in August.

In the spring Hydro plans to remove a 500-kv tower that was leaning before being braced. It will then rebuild the system using the same high-tension lines being used on the 230-kv system.

Watch BC Hydro video on the replacement of the line.

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