The following article is a repost of Cynthia Aeson's article 120 days into Site C Dam

Site C Dam
At $8.9 billion, BC Hydro's Site C Dam is Canada’s largest infrastructure project and the largest capital project in British Columbia’s history. Site C Dam is located only 7 km from Fort St. John, British Columbia. 


Today marks the 120th day of construction, into a decade long project. BC Hyrdo allows contractors to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, meaning the work could be literally non-stop.


In the first 120 days of construction, work crews have been undertaking site preparation activities, including:

  • clearing trees and vegetation at the dam site
  • upgrading public roads
  • building access roads at the dam site
  • constructing a 1,600-person worker accommodation facility
  • excavation and slope stabilization and starting work on a temporary construction bridge across the Peace River
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Things to know:
  • As of the end of September, there were approximately 600 people working on the project, including approximately 450 workers from B.C.
  • An estimated 10,000 jobs will be created during the decade of construction.
  • More than 1,000 people and over 200 businesses participated in jobs fairs and business-to-business networking sessions in October in Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd and Fort St. John.
  • $3.2 billion will be added to the provincial economy from the purchase of goods and services during Site C construction, including $130 million to the regional economy.
  • $40 million in tax revenues will be provided to local governments during construction.
  • Site C construction activities will contribute $179 million in provincial revenues and $270 million in federal revenues during the construction period.
  • A temporary 300-person work camp has been set up on site to house workers while the 1,600-person lodge is constructed.
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A concern we are presented with frequently is, "as a real estate investor, isn't the construction of a 1,600 man camp bad news?"
First, you must understand the nature of a man camp. Man camps are used to house workers from outlying cities, for example: Kamloops, Nanaimo, Edmonton, and Abbotsford. 
Their schedule is 2 weeks in the camp, 1 week off. During this week off, they pack up their duffle bags and another worker takes their place in the man camp, leaving them no place to store any personal belongings. 
After a few months of spending 2 of their 7 days off commuting back home, "it is estimated that up to 60% of workers will either rent or own in the nearby city."  
Secondly, according to the economic development office, the population of Northeast BC is expected to almost double over the next 5 years. If this growth happens, there are simply not enough housing units to accommodate this massive growth in population.
The North Peace Economic Development Commission estimates that Northeast BC currently needs at least 5,500 new housing units. The demand is broken down by the following:
  • 3,516 - Single Family Homes
  • 1,200 - Townhomes, Duplexes, Row-Homes
  • 1,151 - Apartments