Earlier today, crews were working on the culvert at 101 Avenue and 17 Street, removing material in order to access and repair damaged sections.
“There was quite a bit of scouring and washing away of edges of the banks and even bits of the sidewalk and roads on each side of that crossing,” said Kevin Henderson, director of infrastructure for the City of Dawson Creek. “Now that the water levels are really low on the (Dawson) Creek, we’re able to get in there, clean it up a bit and re-secure each edge by putting some log blocks in there, which will help to prevent any scouring in the future.”
He said in a couple of weeks after that section is completed, similar repairs will be done to the culvert on 102 Avenue just off of 17 Street.
“It has washed away on the downstream side in the corners, so we’re going to have to pull that walking bridge off the edge and clean up underneath – there’s concrete that has to be removed – and re-stabilize everything,” he said.
He said the sidewalk will be blocked on both sides when that work is underway, so pedestrians will have to find another way across the creek, or use an abundance of caution when crossing on the road. He added he doesn’t expect any interruptions to traffic, other than motorists will need to slow down and proceed with caution as the work along the shoulders will make the roadway a bit narrower.
Henderson said the work is really to repair and restore the culverts to ensure safety, but won’t necessarily alter creek flows in the case of another heavy rainfall event like the ones experienced in late June and early July. However, he said the city’s watershed steward, Reg Whitten, will lead a site assessment along the length of the creek, looking for vulnerabilities such as slope erosion and what might be done to mitigate them.
“There are some things we need to take a bit of a bigger look at,” said Henderson.
He said the city is eligible under the Provincial Emergency Program to apply to recoup the cost of the repair work to the culverts. The work is expected to be completed in early September.