Flood mitigation projects get $13.1M funding boost
Injection of provincial cash to fortify city’s infrastructure
Spring is a happy time, when the promise of summer looms. But as Mayor Naheed Nenshi puts it, it’s also a time of stress for Calgarians.
It’s been four years since the 2013 flood and citizens still fear the worst. Although the visible damage is mostly unnoticeable, there’s still work to be done on mitigation works that could save citizens and the City of Calgary financial headaches in the future.
Earlier this month, citizens from the Sunnyside neighbourhood demonstrated how real their fears still are, and how slowly they see progress in flood mitigation, especially for private residents. As they watch flood mitigation walls being built for the city, they wonder why their neighbourhoods don’t get the same attention.
That’s where $13.1 million for flood mitigation work from the province will help.
As part of Budget 2017, Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips was in Calgary to announce their grant cash that’s flowing into several sorely needed projects in the city.
“Calgary has worked hard to improve its resiliency,” said Phillips. “These projects represent the foundation of our efforts to build a flood resilient province.”
The money will help fund the two pump stations in Sunnyside, bolster the West Eau Claire Flood Barrier, replace the Sanitary Lift Station in Roxboro, and improve site conditions at the Western Headworks Diverson.
“It’s very clear that the province is making the moves that we need them to make,” said Nenshi. “I’d love to get this stuff built much more quickly, but there are environmental assessments we have to go through, and so on.”
Nenshi said the projects will help prevent flooding, but no matter what the city and province does, it won’t completely prevent flooding.
“We still need to continue to do upstream mitigation work on the Bow River to ensure that we continue to protect downtown,” said Nenshi.
Calgary is still building up its infrastructure to help protect the city from future floods.