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

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

14 car batteries cleared from Elk River near Elkford

The ERA is encouraging eager volunteers to reach out to help keep the river clean

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read