Hefty pricetag for Cougar Creek repair
Town of Canmore council voted unanimously to approve a capital budget of $1.68 million for the restoration of banks and armouring along Cougar Creek, which will be funded from the general capital reserve, Tuesday (Sept. 4).
The project is the same as one originally proposed in 2008, but was deferred as a result of stakeholders, which included the Town, CP Rail and the province, not coming to an agreement to pay equal portions of the project.
As the result of an AMEC Earth & Environment Limited assessment, the figure proposed to council was determined following a flood this past June that resulted in the failure of bank armouring and large-scale erosion and sediment transport.
Some emergency repairs were conducted after the flood event, however, a fully funded project that involves a sediment trap upstream of Elk Run Boulevard as well as creating grade control structures and armoured banks between Elk Run Boulevard and the Trans-Canada Highway will need to be carried out to avoid any future instances.
The project plans to be completed in two stages, with the first focusing on the area directly affected by June flooding, while the second phase will be brought to council as a separate capital project.
According to a report presented by Andy Esarte, Town manager of engineering, Phase 1 will be completed by March 2013 with the restoration of landscape and pathways completed by June 2013.
The goal is to have all the armouring in place prior to spring runoff to prevent further damage and risk to property, Esarte’s report noted.
Council heard administration is in the process of applying for grant funding through the Disaster Recovery Program by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA). The program is intended to address natural disasters resulting in extensive damage.
In the report, the program’s guidelines for funding state only restoration costs that return infrastructure to its pre-existing condition will be considered eligible. The project’s restoration costs are $1,225,000, as provided by the assessment AMEC conducted.
Esarte stressed to council that the Town “needs to re-armour the banks” and not just replace them to protect the area from future failures.
Councillor Hans Helder noted, “measures will be well spent,” while Coun. Sean Krausert said he was worried about the timeframe for the project and the second phase not being completed until 2016.
Krausert said he was also concerned about foot traffic within the culvert and asked whether adequate warning signs could be put in place to reduce the amount of people down there.
The manager of engineering said they would look into putting up signs as a preventative measure to keep people away from the area.
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