News

$2.3 million in dike upgrades coming to Chilliwack

David Blain, city engineer, speaks during the $2.3 million dike system upgrade announcement at City Hall on Tuesday morning. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS
David Blain, city engineer, speaks during the $2.3 million dike system upgrade announcement at City Hall on Tuesday morning.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

It's a Christmas gift that will keep on giving.

A $2.3-million upgrade to Chilliwack's east dike funded by federal, provincial and municipal governments that will increase flood protection for more than 40,000 was announced Tuesday.

But it wouldn't have happened without the hard work of Chilliwack MLA John Les and Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl and the $780,000 that the city had in reserve, said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Each level of government contributed $780,000 to the project, but it wouldn't have happened if the city did not first have those matching funds in reserve, she said.

The upgrade will see the east dike that runs under Young Road raised by a maximum of one metre from Cartmell Road (the wing dike that extends into the Fraser River) to the Hope River. Bike lanes will also be added to that section of Young Road.

David Blain, city engineer, said the east dike was a priority for upgrading since the design flood profile changed about five years ago.

He said the next priority for upgrading is the Town Dike, which runs from Young Road toward Wolfe Road, then along Schweyey Road to Chilliwack Mountain, protecting sections of the city and areas of Greendale.

Les, a former Chilliwack mayor, said the upgrades announced Tuesday will be a "significant improvement to Chilliwack's diking infrastructure."

He said the city narrowly missed a "catastrophic" flood in 2007 "just because a weather pattern behaved a little differently than predicted."

"The bottom of the river continues to rise," he added, as gravel continues to be deposited by the Fraser and "failure of the dike would be catastrophic beyond belief."

Gaetz agreed.

"It's absolutely imperative we have this next piece in our infrastructure to avoid a catastrophic event," she said.

Total costs of a major flood in Chilliwack have been estimated at over $1 billion.

Gaetz said the upgrades will add protection for downtown Chilliwack, as well as many rural areas.

She credited both Strahl and Les for their hard work ensuring Chilliwack got the funding, part of a joint federal-provincial program.

"I know the people of Chilliwack are very grateful," she said.

Construction of the upgrades is expected to start in 2014.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Woman critically injured in three-vehicle crash
 
Capturing the spirit of wild salmon in Chilliwack
 
Police remind Chilliwack residents of potential scams
Vince Ready agrees to return to IKEA dispute
 
Demand for digital content grows at Richmond Public Library
 
Alleged driver in fatal hit-and-run is a Surrey RCMP hired consultant
Accused killer changes story
 
Police want charges against 25 more riot suspects
 
Burnaby to look into problem cyclists

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.