Submitted by Loree Duczek

Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) information officer

After two years, the Hill Road Dike Project has received the required approvals, including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) authorization, and construction is set to begin next week.

“In the summer of 2019, the project was delayed as additional information was required by the DFO related to the design and potential impacts to fish habitat,” says Engineering and Water Resource Technician Kara Zandbergen. “We have been working with them ever since and are pleased to have received the green light to proceed.”

The project will involve the installation of erosion protection for the existing dike, which was impacted by flooding in 2013. In addition, there will be construction of new fish habitat in the downstream Morrisey Meadows region of the Elk River to help offset any potential impacts to fish habitat as a result of the in-stream works at Hill Road, which is a requirement of the DFO authorization.

“We have been waiting for this day for a long time and it’s great to see this important project moving forward,” says RDEK Electoral Area A Director, Mike Sosnowski. “It will increase the safety of the residents in the Hill Road area and will ensure the dike is stronger and more resilient to future flooding events.”

The construction contract was awarded to Transcendent Mining and Mobilization in July pending DFO approval. With that approval now in hand, construction will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 and is expected to take approximately six weeks to complete.

Residents in the Hill Road area can expect to see increased traffic throughout the construction and are encouraged to slow down and use extra caution. In addition, there will be no public access to the river from this location at the end of Hill road during construction.

The $1.1 million Hill Road Dike Upgrade and Erosion Protection Project received $750,000 in funding through the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, 2018 Structural Flood Mitigation funding stream.