July 7, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
British Columbia is committing $15.52 million in funding for two flood mitigation projects in Surrey that will protect thousands of homes, landmark institutions and business and industries employing thousands of people.
The funding will be used for the two dike upgrade projects, reports the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Another $10.06 million is committed by the City of Surrey toward the construction project, a statement adds.
The City of Surrey Fraser River floodplain is protected by a series of dikes, drainage canals and pump stations.
The ministry explains that by raising the height of the Fraser River dike as part of the first project, this will lead to better flood protection along approximately 2,000 metres of the river. “The protected area of land includes 776 hectares, consisting of a high-density mix of industrial, commercial and residential properties housing 3,600 residents and providing almost 6,000 jobs,” the ministry reports.
Transportation infrastructure critical to the entire region – including the Canadian National Railway bridge crossing and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority – will be better protected from flood should a dike breach occur, the statement adds.
Funding for the second project will result in five kilometres of the Colebrook Dike being upgraded and the Colebrook pump station being reconstructed. “Nearly 700 hectares of agricultural land is protected by the dike,” the ministry notes.
The money is part of the public safety funding announced by the province this past February. At that time, the B.C. government announced $65 million to help keep communities safe, including $15 million for public safety preparedness and $50 million for community hazard-mitigation projects, such as upgrades to dikes and flood protection.
“Anything we can do to identify risk and prepare for risk is a step in the right direction,” says Naomi Yamamoto, the province’s Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness. “We are happy to work collaboratively with communities to help limit risk our citizens could be exposed to in the unfortunate event a disaster strikes,” Yamamoto continues.
“By investing in infrastructure, we are taking steps to keep communities like Surrey safe from flooding and protecting important ecosystems in our parks and waterfronts,” suggests Marvin Hunt, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “In protecting our homes, schools and other public infrastructure, we improve on our overall public safety and disaster preparedness.”
Adds Surrey mayor Linda Hepner, “The projects announced today, along with the ongoing development of our Coastal Flood Protection Strategy, will ensure the city has the plan and infrastructure in place to manage extreme events and adapt to a changing climate.”
More information on flood and prevention planning is available on the B.C. government’s website.