If you’re driving up Highway 23N to Mica you’ll see some new signs intended to protect mountain caribou during their spring and fall migration periods.
“The four caution signs warn of the presence of mountain caribou along the highway and are fitted with LED solar-powered flashing lights that will be turned on during the spring and fall caribou migration periods to alert drivers,” said Jennifer Walker-Larsen, BC Hydro’s Stakeholder Engagement Advisor here in Revelstoke.
“The caribou signs will stay in place after construction of the Mica Projects to provide ongoing benefits to mountain caribou, a threatened species in BC.”
New signs, you say? Big deal, you say?
Well they look like your standard black-on-yellow wildlife signs but — Wow! — do they ever light up at night.
Walker-Larsen said Hydro is funding additional RCMP patrols along Highway 23N providing all workers at the Mica Units 5 and 6 Project with information packages about traffic safety, accident risks and wildlife along the highway.
BC Hydro employees have also formed a Mica Road Safety Committee with other highway users to share information about travel conditions and road safety including wildlife.
The Mica Units 5 and 6 Project is a key component of the utility’s renewal plan for the provincial electricity system. The Units 5 and 6 Project will install two 500 megawatt units into empty bays at the Mica Generating Station. Originally designed to hold six generating units, only four were installed when the powerhouse was constructed in 1977.
Construction began in 2011 and will be completed by 2015. The additional units will increase the generating capacity at Mica from 1,805 megawatts to 2,805 megawatts, surpassing BC Hydro’s current largest facility — GM Shrum Generating Station on the Peace River System at 2,730 megawatts.