The boat launches on both sides of Kootenay Lake around the orange bridge will be closed for most of March and part of April while Nelson Hydro installs new high voltage underwater power line cables to the North Shore.

“This new line is not just a benefit to North Shore customers, but to all Nelson Hydro customers,” operations manager Dan Geissler said in a news release. “With this new marine cable crossing, Nelson Hydro is laying the foundations needed to power Nelson Hydro customers well into the future.”

The work is tentatively expected to begin March 4 and wrap up around April 8. The new cables will replace two existing ones, which are about 50 and 30 years old. The newer of the existing cables has failed twice.

Geissler says the new cables will improve reliability and are expected to last about 45 years. They will also have increased capacity.

While the work is underway, construction fencing will close off the boat launch areas. Boats anchored in front of the launches or stored on the beaches will have to be relocated.

Boaters must also stay clear of material being barged across the lake for the project.

The work is valued at about $1 million. Under the terms of their permit, Nelson Hydro is required to do the work in March during low water.