Hill Road dike project delayed
The Hill Road dike project has been delayed following notification from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that additional authorizations and design modifications would be required before they would allow the project to move forward.
“The DFO is a federal agency and is responsible for reviewing projects like this to determine how they may affect fish and fish habitat while ensuring compliance with the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act,” explained Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Engineering Technician Kara Zandbergen. “They have informed us that due to the potential impacts to fish habitat that the project may have as it is currently designed, we will have to make modifications and further work is required.”
The RDEK will continue to work with DFO and will be consulting local experts to help identify potential solutions moving forward; however, the timeline of the project will be affected, as construction likely will not be able to proceed before 2020. In addition, it is not yet known how potential design changes could impact the project’s overall budget.
“I am disappointed with DFO’s decision and the delays that it will cause to this project. We recognize the importance of this project to the safety of the residents in the Hill Road area and we will continue to work on a design that meets everyone’s needs,” said RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski.
The RDEK will be writing a letter to the DFO expressing concern about the impact the delay could have on the project.
The $1.1 million Hill Road Dike Upgrade and Erosion Protection Project has received $750,000 in funding through the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, 2018 Structural Flood Mitigation funding stream.
The Hill Road area is in Cokato, across the Elk River from the access area to Fernie Alpine Resort.