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Metro North Transmission Project: Burnaby

To complete the Metro North Transmission project we're planning an additional 230 kilovolt line in Burnaby.

After crossing Burrard Inlet to Burnaby, the line would transition from overhead to underground.

The transition structure, called a cable termination station, would be built on BC Hydro-owned land south of Barnet Highway that was previously used for construction staging during the stringing of the existing overhead transmission line across the Burrard Inlet. At this site there will be some tree clearing required to accommodate the construction of the new station and towers.

In consultation with the City of Burnaby and the public we've identified a preferred route for the additional transmission line that will be placed underground in city streets, connecting to our Horne Payne Substation at Lougheed Highway and Gilmore Avenue.

This work is part of the Metro North Transmission Project.

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The preferred route was identified based on feedback from the City of Burnaby to minimize construction impacts in residential neighbourhoods. The identified route considers cable length and bends, avoids streets that already have high utility congestion, and avoids small residential streets and commercial areas like The Heights on Hastings Street.

Upgrades would be made to the Horne Payne Substation and Barnard Substation as part of project.

For safety and constructability, tree removal will be required at the site where a cable termination station and a new tower will be built to transition the line from overhead to underground. We'll aim to maximize vegetation retention and to minimize disturbances in the area.

If the project proceeds we're committed to managing traffic during construction to make sure that we minimize the impacts to people who use these roads, and that people know what to expect during their commute. We will work closely with the City of Burnaby to coordinate traffic management.

Undergrounding cable through city streets requires civil work to dig trenches and install duct banks below grade along the length of the road between manholes. Manholes will be installed every 800 metres of duct bank. Excavating, installation and backfill work is done on a block-by-block basis with each block taking approximately 5 to 8 days to complete.

Through Burnaby, the horizontal placement of the line in each section will vary depending on existing underground utilities. Directly above the line, the expected magnetic field level is 120 milligauss and it drops rapidly away from the line. Considering residential setback in the area is 6 metres or more, normal residential exposure levels are expected to be less than 25 milligauss.

Distance from centre of line (in metres) Magnetic field levels (milligauss)
0 m 120 mG
2.5 m 59 mG
5 m 25 mG
10 m 8 mG
15 m 4 mG
20 m
2 mG

Reports & documents

Burnaby magnetic field profile [PDF, 81 KB]

Open house summary – November 2017 [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Photo metric satellite map [PDF, 6.6 MB]

604 623 4472
Toll free: 1 866 647 3334


Metro North Transmission Project

This regional project is part of the Metro North Transmission Project that will build an additional 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line(s) between Coquitlam and Vancouver.

Learn more