City closes part of Nanaimo Lakes Road

People travelling to Nanaimo's backcountry will have to avoid the start of Nanaimo Lakes Road for the next week or so.

A portion of the road will be closed until Nov. 3 while the city installs pipelines across the road that will service the new reservoir at Colliery Dam Park.

The area affected is between Benson Road and Lincoln Road, but people can still access Nanaimo Lakes Road via Harewood Mines Road, said Bill Sims, the city's manager of water resources.

"We need to essentially get the water to the reservoir," he said.

Once the tie-ins across the road are completed, the pipeline will continue alongside the roadway, so people can expect traffic slowdowns, including closing down one lane, for the next few months until this work is complete, Sims added.

Work on this part of the project started Monday.

Sims said the city is concerned about speeding on this section of road and he hopes to have a temporary speed board up during construction as well as flag people.

The city is replacing the open-air Reservoir No. 1 with an enclosed reservoir and energy recovery facility that is expected to generate enough electricity to power 60-70 houses and about $90,000 per year in revenue for the city from B.C. Hydro.

Sims said the tree clearing work is complete and construction of the storage tank and energy recovery facility is expected to begin early next year and completed in the spring of 2014.

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