By Steve Hubrecht
[email protected]

The District of Invermere (DOI) is applying for grant money from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s COVID-19 resilience infrastructure stream to replace the flood box culvert on Johnson Road.

Abel Creek flows through the culvert, which has been in a state of disrepair for some years now and which local residents and conservation groups occasionally prod the district about. The culvert is no ordinary culvert, however, coming with a nearly half-million dollar price tag, and this high cost has meant kept the DOI from fixing it properly.

“It’s a box culvert which promotes fish migration upstream,” said Invermere corporate officer Kindry Luyendyk at the Tuesday, Jan. 12 Invermere council meeting. “It’s almost failing, if not pretty much failing. We patch it every year. I don’t think any fish can get through it at the moment. If it does fail, we will have to close Johnson Road at the point. Any traffic will have to be re-routed through Castle Rock, through the back route.”

The grant application is for $442,000, which would cover the entire cost of a new culvert.

Luyendyk noted that if the grant application is not successful, Invermere will not be able to fit the cost of a new culvert into its 2021 budget, but the DOI would need to budget for in the future year.

Council members unanimously supported the grant application, with councillor Greg Anderson saying it was “a no-brainer” to do so.