The next phase of dike upgrades will go through Hope River-Corbould park. A community meeting is set for June 28

The next phase of dike upgrades will go through Hope River-Corbould park. A community meeting is set for June 28

Chilliwack community meeting to go over design options for Town Dyke upgrade

Attend a meeting on June 28 — at 2 p.m. or at 6 p.m. — in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, next to CSS, to discuss dike upgrading

The next phase of Chilliwack dike upgrades will go through Hope River-Corbould park.

A community meeting set for June 28 to discuss design options being looked at for the Town Dyke Upgrade, which the city is undertaking as part of its responsibility to protect the greater community from flood risk.

The work is geared to raising the dike elevation by one metre to meet provincial flood control standards.

There are right-of-way requirements to consider, as well as getting buy-in from the neighbours.

The section they plan to be working on this year spans from the intersection of Young and Hope River Roads, to Schweyey Road at Chilliwack Mountain, through the Hope River-Corbould park.

“A crucial component of the preliminary design is to undertake public outreach to ensure that adjacent property owners and residents and user groups are well informed and able to participate in meaningful decision-making, resulting in community buy-in,” according to city documents for the RFEI last fall.

They have to look at how raising the dike will impact residents in terms of drainage near the slough, which is notorious for almost flooding when the water levels are high.

Design solutions will be required to “address the significant elevation change as it relates to adjacent property landscaping and the side street road and driveway access. Drainage control also presents a challenge as many adjacent property owners report existing drainage issues.”

The upgrade is part of ongoing City of Chilliwack dike work. The section of dike that runs along Young Road to Hope River Road was completed last fall.

One question being asked is can the dike be upgraded without damaging the slough and its diverse, at-risk inhabitants. The right-of-way through the Skwah First Nation was expected to require preliminary design for “a bypass (temporary or emergency) dyke” according to city documents.

“There is a lot wrong with this project,” wrote area resident Rene Crawshaw on social media on the Save Our Slough page.

He said he’s concerned first with the protection of the Hope and Shefford Slough as Class A watercourses, worried that dike work might be done in riparian areas.

Another concern is nearby First Nations.

His opinion is that “as taxpayers it is morally and ethically wrong to build a dyke around them and flood their homes.”

“Third is the dam at the Young Road bridge that would destroy the habitat for all the species at risk that reside in Hope Slough. There are better alignments that are friendly to the environment. We only have one Hope and Shefford Slough so we need to protect it. Show up on June 28 and demand the city to not permanently damage our watercourses by taking shortcuts.”

The community meeting is set for June 28. They are holding two sessions, one at 2 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, adjacent CSS, 46361 Yale Road.

A brief presentation and overview of the project will be starting at about 2:10  and 6:10 p.m. with chances for residents to chat later with project team members, and ask questions.