Work at a number of streams affected by flooding in the Peace District last June will be completed before the spring run-off, announced MLA for Peace River South Mike Bernier, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.
“The flooding last June was unprecedented, with repairs ongoing over the past nine months,” said Bernier. “The majority of the cleanup effort has been completed at most of the affected sites and ministry staff and contractors are now doing additional work to prepare for this spring’s freshet.”
Repairs will take place at the following locations over the next couple of months:
- Zonnebeke Creek on Highway 29, south of Cheywynd
- Crassier Creek on Highway 97, west of Chetwynd
- Bissett Creek Bridge on Highway 97, approximately nine kilometres southwest of Chetwynd
- Medicine Woman Bridge on Highway 29, approximately 25 kilometres north of Chetwynd
- Pine River at Hasler Road, approximately 23 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd
- Hanna Bridge on Briar Ridge Road near Pouce Coupe
At each site during last year’s flooding, stream channels were scoured and debris was deposited into the streams, reducing the amount of water volume the waterway can handle. The repair work will excavate this material to return the creeks to their pre-flood conditions and reinforce the stream banks to protect highway structures.
At Zonnebeke Creek, a temporary detour has been put in place to direct traffic around the work while the current culvert is excavated and spring run-off is managed. Construction on a new culvert that will be capable of accommodating future flood events is expected this summer.
On June 15 and 16, 2016, a massive storm surge passed through the Peace District, resulting in over 120 millimetres of rain in a 72-hour period. This, combined with heavy snow run-off at higher elevations, caused extensive damage to roads and highways in the region.
Ministry crews and contractors have been working since then to repair roads and open up highways in the area. All roads in the area are open to traffic, with permanent repairs to several sites ongoing. In total, the Province has already invested $27 million for repairs.
As part of over $80 million announced for emergency preparedness investments on March 15, the Province is investing over $60 million provincewide in flood protection. This includes $300,000 in funding for flood risk assessment, floodplain mapping and flood mitigation planning, with $150,000 each going to the communities of Chetwynd and Dawson Creek.
In addition, as part of $2.13 million provided to the Fraser Basin Council, $1 million will benefit the region through the development of an inventory and engineering assessment of all orphan or unmanaged dikes in British Columbia. This assessment will evaluate the structural conditions of the dikes and determine the cost to upgrade the dikes to provincial standard and to acquire at-risk properties. The goal of this project is to assess the risks to local communities and to help facilitate the transfer of diking authority to local governments.