Several communities in British Columbia will be benefiting from more reliable roadways and local jobs as a result of funding from StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The new $20.7-million Climate Adaptation Program features a range of projects throughout the province that will increase the resiliency of the highway network and help lessen the adverse effects of climate change.

“One of the key threats to the reliability of the highway network is climate related, and examples include high-intensity rainfall events, extreme freshet seasons and flooding,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These events have been increasing in intensity due to climate change, and this initiative ensures a reliable transportation system will be in place for future emergency events as well as the continued movement of people, goods and services.”

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the transportation network to be reliable to help ensure people in rural communities can get to medical facilities quickly, and so first responders, medical personnel, and medical supplies can get to communities in a timely manner.

The program features projects that will mitigate and address the effects of climate change in more than 60 locations, while building back B.C. by providing good job opportunities.

“Every year, British Columbians see first-hand the escalating impacts that climate change has on our communities and infrastructure,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Floods, wildfires and water shortages are increasingly common and severe. This investment will upgrade systems to guard against extreme flooding, erosion and other climate change events. It’s part of our economic recovery plan and CleanBC commitment to help people, communities and the natural environment protect against the impacts of climate change.”

According to Fleming, the projects are spread throughout the province as this issue is not specific to one geographic area. “This ensures work created by this program will benefit people in many communities, particularly small construction companies that have seen a reduction in work due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Projects include riverbank erosion protection, creek channel training, culvert upsizing, flood protection works, slope erosion protection, and avalanche system maintenance.

B.C.’s total provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic is $10 billion.

The breakdown of the funding is as follows:

Northern B.C. – $4.1 million 

  • East of Stewart – Highway 37A erosion protection – produce and stockpile rip rap (rock) at selected site, complete design for future road grade changes to mitigate against flooding
  • Laxgalts’ap and Gingolx – Highway 113 No Name Creek flood mitigation – install rip rap (rock) and various scour protection measures to mitigate against flooding
  • Skeena River – erosion protection – produce rip rap (rock) and place for erosion protection
  • Sandspit, Haida Gwaii – erosion protection – complete erosion protection at a site along Alliford Bay Road
  • Bell II – Highway 37 Snowbank Creek flood mitigation – produce and stockpile material to complete future channel training and erosion protection works to protect Highway 37 against climate-related events
  • Haida Gwaii – rip rap (rock) production – produce and stockpile rip rap for erosion protection works
  • Terrace – Mountain Creek culverts – replace undersized culverts
  • Peace – Fraser Road culvert repair – repair washout damaged road to make passable and complete detailed design
  • Hazelton – Aldous Road culvert replacement – replace undersized culverts
  • Topley – Watson Creek culvert – replace undersized culverts

Kootenays – $7.5 million 

  • Beards Creek – erosion mitigation – construct rip rap (rock) erosion protection and regrade road
  • Nakusp – deep fill culvert replacement – replace undersized culvert under Highway 6
  • Sparwood – Elk Valley culvert repairs – replace undersized culvert on Highway 43
  • Fernie – Elko Rampart Toby Creek – produce rip rap (rock) for future flood protection
  • Golden – Hewitt erosion mitigation – construct erosion protection of ditches and culvert inlets/outlets
  • Revelstoke – Highway 23N erosion protection – purchase and stockpile rip rap (rock) for future erosion protection (freshet response) for bridge piers and embankments
  • Rossland – Little Sheep Creek culvert installation – replace undersized culvert on Highway 22
  • East Kootenay – avalanche catchment area maintenance – construct avalanche path catchment
  • Galena Pass, Highway 31 avalanche catchment area maintenance – construct avalanche path catchment and deflection area
  • Paulson Pass – avalanche maintenance – construct avalanche path catchment and deflection area
  • Kaslo to New Denver Highway 31A – avalanche catchment maintenance – develop catchment and deflection area for improved avalanche control
  • Kootenay Pass – avalanche system maintenance – construct avalanche path catchment and deflection area
  • Kootenay Pass – avalanche bench – construct avalanche path catchment and deflection area
  • Edgewood – drainage – replace undersized culverts
  • Creston – outflow – replace outflow portions of culvert
  • Grand Forks and Rock Creek area – produce rip rap (rock) for erosion protection
  • Trail Hill – produce rip rap (rock) for erosion protection
  • Kootenay Pass – produce rip rap (rock) for erosion protection
  • Nakusp area – produce rip rap (rock) for erosion protection
  • Salmo area – produce rip rap (rock) for erosion protection and improve sight lines
  • Cranbrook – drainage management – complete brushing and drainage management improvements
  • Spillimacheen – Highway 95 Fraling Creek flood protection – rip rap (rock) stockpile and installation, brush removal
  • Jaffray – species at risk road crossing – install ellipse culvert to allow for the safe movement of the endangered painted turtle

Thompson Okanagan and Cariboo – $4.4 million 

  • Cache Creek – Copper Valley pit – supply and stockpile rip rap (rock)
  • Savona – Deadman Vidette at Joe Ross Creek – install concrete box culvert and stream works
  • Tkemlups, east of Kamloops – East Shuswap Road shoulder repairs – produce rip rap (rock) for erosion protection
  • Fairmont Hot Springs – flood mitigation – replace undersized culverts
  • Coquihalla Summit – Falls Lake avalanche maintenance – snow catchment area maintenance
  • West of Summerland, off Princeton Summerland Road – Fish Lake Road and Kettle Place Road drainage improvements – replace undersized culvert and repair road
  • Merritt – Highway 5A, Stump Lake – construct flood protection to raise profile of Highway 5A above future flood levels to ensure no further impacts to the highway
  • Joe Rich – Highway 33 drainage improvements – 18,000 metres of ditching, culvert installations, armouring and cleaning in area impacted by wildfire
  • Simpcw, north of Clearwater – Norris Road rip rap (rock) replacement – produce rip rap for erosion protection
  • Quesnel Area – rip rap (rock) replacement – produce rip rap for erosion protection for embankments
  • Penticton – Valiant Drive drainage improvements – design for culvert installation to improve capacity
  • Sicamous – Cambie Solsqua culvert replacement – replace undersized culvert and armouring improvements
  • Sicamous – Highway 97A Elliott Road culvert replacement – replace undersized culverts
  • Darfield – Highway 5 Chinook Creek rip rap (rock) replacement – place rip rap along stream bank

South Coast and Vancouver Island – $4.7 million 

  • Lower Mainland – Hemlock Valley Road and Highway 1/99 west of Cypress Bowl Road Interchange – replace nine undersized culverts and two new culvert liners to improve drainage
  • Vancouver Island – Coal Harbour Road – install a bypass road and temporary access bridge and produce a design for a new permanent structure
  • Vancouver Island – Highway 19A, Stories Creek, Union Bay and various other locations throughout Vancouver Island – replace undersized culverts to improve drainage

Featured image from Government of B.C.

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