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Ruskin Dam Upgrade and Powerhouse Bridge

Project at a glance





Contractor: Flatiron

Owner: BC Hydro 


60-Kilometers East of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hydroelectric power generation from Stave River

Products + Scope

Expansion JointsExpansion Joints IconExpansion JointsGuard RailsGuard Rails IconGuard RailsStructural BearingStructural Bearing IconStructural Bearing

Stair Towers and Access Stairs

Walkway Platforms

Control Room Building

Pier Nosings

Stop Log Frames

Art Panels

Bearing Assemblies



Structure Details

Originally built in 1930, the Ruskin Dam is a 195-foot (59 m) high concrete gravity dam on the Stave River that generates a hydroelectric output of 114MW to power 33,000 homes. In 2012, the dam underwent a four year 800-million dollar upgrade to restore operational safety standards, improve seismic performance and increase output efficiency.

Project Highlights

  • Marcon was commissioned to assist with seismic upgrades on components of the dam, powerhouse and new access bridge.
  • The dam had six new piers installed to withstand a significant earthquake, Marcon fabricated pier nosings and stop log frames for each new pier to enable debris mitigation and structural resilience.
  • Marcon supplied bearing and guard rail assemblies for the construction of a two-lane truss bridge that would provide access to the restored powerhouse.
  • Upgrades of the powerhouse superstructure included a new control room building that Marcon constructed to support the installation of a new crane and elevator.
  • Marcon collaborated with Brandon Gabriel, an indigenous Kwantlen artist, to fabricate six art panels to honour the Kwantlen people’s history with the land. These indigenous designs were cut from Coreten weathered steel into 26-foot high suspended panels that were fixed to each pier with a steel support frame and aluminum backplate.
  • The entire project required a high-degree of technical expertise, accommodation of tight tolerances and rigorous quality control reporting. In addition, the project required close coordination with plant operators to ensure that the facility could remain operational during construction.