This map shows both the FortisBC gas lines and the various work locations both in and around Sparwood that will be affected in the upcoming months. Photo Submitted

This map shows both the FortisBC gas lines and the various work locations both in and around Sparwood that will be affected in the upcoming months. Photo Submitted

Major construction project to begin in Sparwood

Residents will notice crews working throughout August and September this year

FortisBC will be starting construction on a major project in the Sparwood area this August and September.

Sparwood is one of 18 communities that will see upgrades to their natural gas infrastructure as part of the Inland Gas Upgrades project. The project is one of FortisBC’s widest-spanning initiatives yet and will take place across several regions of British Columbia over the next five years.

The upgrades in Sparwood will see the current infrastructure updated and modernized in order to clear passage for a new piece of technology. FortisBC uses technology known as “in-line inspection” tools to gather detailed information about the condition of gas lines. The current infrastructure in and around Sparwood is not compatible with these tools and therefore needs to be upgraded.

According to a press release from FortisBC, “as it stands, several sharp bends would need to be rounded, while certain valves or fittings may need to be replaced. Once this work is complete, FortisBC will be able to run the tool through each line until they can receive it, obstruction free, on the other side.”

Most of the work this year will be rural and will largely take place on existing FortisBC rights of way. Residents of the Elk Valley may see crews working east of Sparwood along the Elk Valley Highway. Certain upgrades will also be taking place further south along Highway 3 toward Corbin Road.

FortisBC noted that “given the length of the gas line – 79 kilometres – the utility anticipates that upgrade work in the Elk Valley will occur during seasonal construction windows over approximately five years.”

This work will also include future construction near Elkford and at several other locations extending northeast towards Mount O’Rourke.

FortisBC also announced that they are happy to be working with the support of various community groups and local businesses on this project.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with local Indigenous business, Nupqu Development Corporation from the Ktunaxa Nation, who we hired to help with clearing and other preparation activities to ensure our work sites were ready for construction,” said Scott Bartlett, project director of major projects at FortisBC. “We believe in investing where we work, and will continue to look for great opportunities like this to do so.”

As construction continues, FortisBC will be taking special measures to ensure the safety of workers and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crews will follow physical distancing measures and will be provided with extra personal protective equipment.

For more information about gas line construction in the Sparwood area, or about the Inland Gas Upgrades project, visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

(File Photo)
Riders challenge Rockies in last game prior to mandated break

KIJHL games are set to resume on Dec. 4 following a two week long pause

Loblaws reports worker tested positive for COVID-19 in Fernie

The worker’s last shift at Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer was on November 10

(Black Press file)
Interior Health reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

In the region, health authority reports 235 total active cases

Kelsey Merton and Sam Finnigan enjoy the comedic acts. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Infinitea sets stage for amateur women comedians

The joyful event encouraged local ladies to take the stage while celebrating Infinitea’s closure

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read