City to bid for flood money

A $2-million grant to alleviate flooding on lower Third Avenue could spell relief for the 50 homeowners and 35 businesses impacted by winter storm floods.

A $2-million grant to alleviate flooding on lower Third Avenue could spell relief for the 50 homeowners and 35 businesses impacted by winter storm floods.

City councillors have voted to apply for a federal/provincial grant to deal with the issue.

City engineer Guy Cicon’s recommendation would see the capacity of the existing bypass channel improved and a bypass structure installed to reroute excess water from Dry Creek.

The bypass would take excess flood water along a 360-metre long subsurface route following Napier Street, and pour it back into the stream below Third Avenue.

If the application is successful, then it would be underwritten three ways.

The feds and province would pay for $1.5-million of the project, and the city would borrow money to pay its $760,000.

The project would be completed in two parts between summer 2011 and summer 2012.

The lower Third Avenue area has a history of flooding problems, and was first studied in 1998.

The issue gained more prominence in November 2006.

The flooding was so severe then that a four-block radius of homes and businesses had to be shut down. A major street was closed and there was damage to buildings, lost revenue and traffic disruption.

The flooding has its roots in the intense logging of the 12-kilometre watershed where the water originates.

“That’s the reason for the increased run-off rate,” Cicon said.

The project fund has limited resources and competition is expected to be strong.

“But this is a strong project,” Cicon said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com