Sparwood area trails. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Sparwood area trails. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

FortisBC crews return to Elk Valley

The company is doing pipeline upgrades as part of a five-year project

FortisBC work crews will be returning to the Elk Valley this summer, with work continuing on the Inland Gas Upgrade (IGU) project for the third year in a row after works began in 2020.

FortisBC work crews will be working in the Sparwood and Elkford areas.

The local work is part of a BC-wide project by the company to upgrade 29 sections of its existing natural gas pipelines, with upgrades focused on making it easier for company work crews to inspect the inside of the network by reducing the number of bends in the pipes and replacing fittings.

The 2022 season of work is the third of a project five-year project, with the company set to return to the area again in 2023 and 2024.

In 2023, FortisBC crews will be completing carryover work from 2022 and conducting line inspections, while in 2024 they will be doing restoration work on the areas affected by construction, with work to take place in late spring or early summer so that vegetation has the best chance at re-growth.

In a release, the company said that while its work won’t be publicly visible in 2o22, it hoped that community support would be.

“Since starting the project, we’ve been looking for ways to work with and support local businesses, Indigenous groups and community organizations through our work,” said Scott Bartlett, project director for the IGU project.

“We’ve made good progress over the last two years and look forward to continuing our local support in 2022.”

FortisBC has used local vendors wherever possible when working in the area, plowing millions into local vendors. They have also been supporting local initiatives, such as the creation of the Elkford Meeting Place.

READ MORE: Major construction project to begin in Sparwood
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