Photographs of Sandy Bay Roads

=== by Bob Sutherland ===

Page 6 of 8

On my journey I have now reached Island Falls. This webpage contains photographs showing what the roads are like on the island.

Zoom photos:   40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 120% 140% 160% 180% 200% of screen width.

Photo: IM001292.jpg ~ A new driving challenge. Can you safely drive across this hydro dam?

There are no electric turbines at this dam. The purpose of this dam is simply to hold back the water so that it will flow through the electricity producing turbines at another dam.

The extra wide railway track is for a big crane hidden in a garage nearby. The crane drives back and forth across the dam on the railway tracks. The crane can lift those big rectangular metal grates out of the way. The crane then lifts and moves big wooden timbers or cement blocks below the metal grates to control how much water can flow over this dam.

Do not drive across the metal grates. They may not be seated properly in position. The grates may not be able to support the weight of your vehicle.

Do not drive on the railway track. Instead try to drive straddling that centre railway track with one wheel on each side. Applying your brakes will not stop your vehicle if your tires are sliding across the smooth top surface of a railway track. It will be difficult to steer if your tires are bouncing and sliding around uncontrollably whenever they come in contact with the railway track.

Be aware that the road surface on bridges and dams is always more slippery than the road surface on the nearby land. Try to avoid slipping and sliding into the guard rails.

This is a one lane dam with vehicles crossing in both directions. There is no gates or stop lights to control the flow of traffic. You are responsible for watching way off in the distance to ensure that you do not encounter a vehicle coming toward you as you cross the dam.

Photo: IM001293.jpg ~ Whew! We made it across the dam to Island Falls. Now we can drive around.
Photo: IM001294.jpg ~ Did you notice that we suddenly have street lights? I wonder if they still work?

When management automated the hydro electric dams at Island Falls they eliminated the need for a large labour force. Nearly everyone has moved away looking for new jobs.

Photo: IM001295.jpg ~ A yellow snowmobile with an enclosed cabin for the driver and passengers. Historically this was an important but probably slow moving vehicle. It could drive through the forest in the winter time following the power transmission lines from Island Falls to the mines in Flin Flon, Manitoba.
Photo: IM001296.jpg ~ A front view of the yellow snowmobile. I certainly would not want to run out of gasoline while driving that machine deep in the forest. It is a long way to Flin Flon and still takes many hours to travel that far by pickup truck on the roads and highways.
Photo: IM001297.jpg ~ Be careful! The road looks slippery.
Photo: IM001298.jpg ~ A chance to cross the dam going in the opposite direction to return to Sandy Bay. You can see the large garage at the other end of the railway track where the crane is stored.