CALGARY – Nine years after a catastrophic flood caused billions of dollars in damage to parts of Calgary and surrounding communities, work is to begin on a dam to protect the area from rising water in the future.
Premier Jason Kenney says the province has awarded a $744-million contract for the Springbank off-stream reservoir to Vinci Construction.
More than two-thirds of the cost – $576 million – will be picked up by Alberta taxpayers, and the remainder will come from the federal government’s disaster mitigation fund.
Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney says voluntary agreements have been completed with all the landowners, so there is no need to expropriate any properties.
The dam will divert water from the Elbow River away from populated areas, including Calgary.
Five people died and damage ran to $5 billion across southern Alberta during extensive flooding in 2013.
Feature image: FILE – A woman stands in the backyard of her home in the flooded community of Bowness as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, in Calgary, in a June 21, 2013, file photo. Severe weather events such as fires and floods are becoming more frequent and more difficult to predict, and it’s forcing architects and engineers to rethink how they design buildings, infrastructure and cities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette, File