Earlier this year, the prospect of elevating the Young Road dike was as controversial as flood protection infrastructure ever gets in Chilliwack.
Now the $2.3 million East Dike upgrade is almost finished, with about a kilometre of road raised by one metre, part of ongoing improvements to the city diking system.
Costs were shared equally by municipal, provincial and federal governments, and the construction process for most part went smoothly, according to reports from city staff.
The roadway, which does double duty as a dike, was repaved, marked and raised to its final elevation from Cartmell Road to just past Minter Country Garden to meet provincial dike standards.
There were a minimum of construction delays, and meetings were held between city reps, the contractor, Martens Asphalt, and residents, to talk about issues such as frontage restoration and driveway access.
At this point the concrete driveways and paved driveways along that section of Young are complete, with touchups expected this week and next week to some of the gravel driveways.
A group of Young Road residents and local First Nations residents protested last winter and tried to get city council to stop the East dike project. They questioned projected flood protection projections that the project would provide, and complained the project would lower property values. Others pushed for an alternative dike alignment, but that didn’t ultimately happen.
The Young Road dike upgrade was required to boost flood control to protect 40,000 residents, and it was in the public interest, in the city’s estimation, so the dike work went ahead as planned, while channels of communication with residents were kept wide open.
Wherever possible they made significant efforts to lengthen residents’ driveways to avoid creating overly steep grades, which was a concern of some residents prior to the work being done.
Some additional landscaping restoration will be completed this fall, along with lifting top soil and hydroseeding side slopes.