Repairs approved for Heoh Dyke
Foothills: Work to be completed by end of May
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Friday, Jan 17, 2014 11:18 am
MD of Foothills officials are hopeful repairs to a key flood barrier west of High River will be completed by the time river levels rise in this year’s spring runoff.
MD council is going ahead with repairs to the Hoeh Dike along the Highwood River with a deadline to complete the work by the end of May.
The work will primarily involve replacing rip-rap – large boulders – on sections of the dike washed away in last year’s flood to shore it up against similar events in the future.
“We will re-establish it so it doesn’t succumb to the next flood,” said Hugh Pettigrew, MD deputy director of public works. “The rip-rap provides the protection. It got washed away and it needs to be re-done so the dike’s integrity isn’t changed.”
On Jan. 8, MD council approved a tender from Chief Construction Co. for $489,153 to do the repairs to the Hoeh Dike. The bid was the lowest of three submitted to the MD, with the highest bid exceeding $800,000. Council also approved additional funding between $60,000 and $70,000 to cover the cost of engineering work required by the project. The cost of the project will be entirely covered by the provincial Disaster Relief Program (DRP).
The repairs will bring the dike back up to its condition before the flood, but the work will not involve making the structure any larger or beefing it up any further.
He said the dike maintains the river course west of High River and prevents erosion of the riverbanks.
“It maintains the direction of the flow within the Highwood River where it can,” said Pettigrew.
Coun. Rick Percifield said it’s important the dike be repaired.
He said it plays an important role in limiting the impact of flooding not only for High River and the surrounding areas, but also along the Little Bow River.
Without the Hoeh Dike, Percifield said more water could end up going down the Little Bow River during floods causing more widespread damage.
“We have to keep the split up between the Little Bow and the Highwood so we don’t send all the water one direction or the other,” he said.