Town of Canmore plans to redirect Stoneworks Creek in Canmore have been stalled at the provincial permitting stage.
Alberta Environment spokesperson Cara Tobin said the municipality must conduct a flood hazard assessment before it can receive approval to move forward with the project.
“In order for us to complete a review of the application, they need to submit a flood hazard assessment,” Tobin said.
Manager of Engineering Kevin Van Vliet said the project’s goal is to redirect where the creek drains to protect already developed areas.
Currently, runoff from the creek drains towards the Trans-Canada Highway interchange near the hospital.
However, all of Silvertip and most of Cougar Point Road also drain into the same area and in 2005 the Town saw flooding there.
“The purpose of it is to manage flooding and stormwater issues highlighted in the 2005 flooding that occurred,” Van Vliet said. “We have too much water going in that direction; by diverting this creek to the north side of the alluvial fan, we get rid of some of the problem.”
However, a flood hazard assessment is typically done to assess the chance of flooding in a flood plain along a river.
Stoneworks Creek, said Van Vliet, does not fit that mold and the Town is working with the province to better define the scope of the assessment needed.
“We are trying to work with Alberta environment to understand how we would conduct a flood hazard assessment on this creek as it is not a standard flood or river channel,” he said.
The assessment could cost upwards of $100,000, depending on the scope, and would have to be conducted in the spring.
The $1.3 million flood mitigation project, on the other hand, had already gone to tender for construction when the Town found out it needed the assessment to get permits to proceed.