Urgent repairs to go ahead on waterways around Kelowna International Airport - InfoNews

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Urgent repairs to go ahead on waterways around Kelowna International Airport

An Aqua Dam at Kinsmen Park.
April 11, 2018 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - Urgent repairs to channel works around Kelowna International Airport that were damaged by last year's floods will go ahead after council approved changes to the city budget to pay for them.

Repairs to waterways around the airport will cost just over $1 million, director of infrastructure Alan Newcombe told councillors, and have some urgency as they need to be completed before this year’s freshet begins.

Last spring’s freshet brought extreme flooding in early May, Newcombe said, and damaged parts of Mill Creek, Scotty Creek and Wagner Creek.

An engineering consultant identified a number of problems with Mill Creek including erosion of channel banks, sediment build-up and blockages caused by woody debris.

Gravel dredged in 2015 from that portion of Mill Creek has already been replaced by upstream sediment and the entire alignment of the creek was affected by last spring’s raging waters.

Similar problems were reported on Scotty Creek with the addition of three washed out culverts and a damaged bridge, Newcombe said.

The city won’t be on the hook for the full cost, Newcombe told councillors, and will be able to recover 80 per cent from the provincial disaster financial assistance program.

That leaves the airport, which is fully owned by the city, to cover the $259,000 shortfall.

Newcombe said the repair bill is part of the larger $10.7-million bill for damages to city infrastructure during last year’s flood.

His report to council identified 52 pieces of city infrastructure that required repair, including the single largest — a $3-million upgrade to a portion of upper Vernon Creek.

Crews recently removed 2,600 tonnes of damaged concrete and replaced it with 8,000 square metres of channel liner, banked by 12,000 tonnes of riprap rock along with 9,500 tonnes of native soil.

As a precaution, Newcombe said staff will be targeting certain areas of Mill Creek for pre-emptive sandbagging and placement of  bladder dams and Hesco bins.

Private property owners along Mill Creek that have been identified as at risk for flooding will be provided sandbags, he added.

Council unanimously approved the request for the budget amendment.

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