Flood protection plan underway

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 08:38 am

Foothills Lions Club’s James Lee drives through a portion of the Black Diamond Lions Campground last summer after it was swept away in the 2013 flood. The Town of Black Diamond is awaiting approval from the Province on the construction of a dike to help protect the land in the event of future flooding.
Foothills Lions Club’s James Lee drives through a portion of the Black Diamond Lions Campground last summer after it was swept away in the 2013 flood. The Town of Black Diamond is awaiting approval from the Province on the construction of a dike to help protect the land in the event of future flooding.
Wheel File Photo

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Flood protection efforts in Black Diamond could begin to take shape in just a few weeks.

Calgary engineering firm Urban Systems submitted two proposals to the Province to fund projects expected to protect Black Diamond from future flood damage and is awaiting approval before moving ahead.

“We don’t have a whole lot of time to get it done, but we feel it’s comfortable,” said Urban Systems project engineer Meghan Aebig.

The Town of Black Diamond hired Urban Systems and MPE Engineering to protect the community from future flooding after a portion of the town was damaged in the 2013 flood.

“We will be doing everything we need to protect the town,” Aebig said. “It might not be done, done but it would be what we could do to protect it.”

The two companies are working with the Province to ensure they are giving the town the best protection possible before rain and runoff is a threat, said Aebig.

“They are doing their best to make it a priority because they know that it’s important for us to get it approved and move forward,” she said. “We are hoping it’s another week.”

Aebig’s goal is to have the projects completed before May.

“This is all based on the fact that the province is going to review it quickly,” she said. “It will take a few weeks to go to tender.”

The projects include the construction of a dike along the east side of the Sheep River upstream of the Highway 22 bridge to prevent flooding into town after a large portion of Black Diamond’s campground was washed away and flooded last year.

The plan also includes repairing and improving the town’s drainage outfall and backflow systems damaged in last year’s flood to handle large amounts of water.

The projects were approved by Black Diamond town council in December before going to the Province.

Aebig said Urban Systems and MPE Engineering are still analyzing embankment protection downstream of the bridge and expects to have a proposal to council this month.

Alberta Transportation approved rip rap for the Highway 22 bridge’s east abutment after the river washed away the cement support last June.

Aebig said an emergency berm is already in place south of the bridge to offer some level of protection. She said dirt and gravel making up the berm will be used for the proposed dike, which will be further secured with rip-rap.

Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown said she is glad to see plans in place, but is worried about timing and the availability of supplies that are in high demand in other communities affected by the 2013 flood.

Aebig said Urban System is currently making contacts to secure materials needed for the projects.

To learn more about the projects go to www.town.blackdiamond.ab.ca


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