BY BILL PHILLIPS
Work is underway today on replacing an elevated conveyor pipe across River Road that was damaged August 2 when it was hit by a boom truck.
“A truck forgot to put its arm down and knocked the whole thing down, fortunately there was nobody behind them because it could have been much worse,” said John Brink, owner of Brink Forest Products.
No one was injured in the accident, which shut down the Brink Forest Products operations on the Nechako River side of River Road.
The pipe, which has been in place for about 15 years, is crucial to the operations of Brink Forest Products, which has buildings on both sides of River Road. The pipe transports sawdust and shavings from one collection system for the entire plant.
“It shut us down for a week in that particular plant,” he said. “We’ll be back to operation in plant B by Wednesday.”
Brink said the cost to replace the pipe will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Insurance may cover the cost replacing the pipe and those issues will be sorted out at a later date.
“In the meantime, the expense is ours,” he said. “We have to get our operations back going again. We employ people and we’ve kept them going as much as we could, running extra time in other buildings.”
Brink says the company employs 350 people and is the largest secondary manufacturer in Canada and the largest finger-joint manufacturer in North America, so getting the pipe fixed is paramount.
“We have clients that rely on our products and we cannot have interruptions in our deliveries,” he said. “We have very, very tight schedules to get the product to market.”
The work involves structural engineers and specialized contractors to do the work.