The B.C. government has announced that engineering work is underway to build a bridge structure to replace the culvert at Commotion Creek on Highway 97, located approximately 20 kilometres south of Chetwynd in northern B.C. (about 11 hours north of Kelowna).
“The site at Commotion Creek was the most heavily damaged by last year’s flooding, resulting in a massive hole in Highway 97 and the surrounding area,” said Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South, in a media release. “Design for a permanent solution to this location will help to minimize damage from any future flooding, increase safety and enhance the reliability of the road.”
Commotion Creek was inundated with water from the 2016 flooding within the Peace River Valley. The existing culverts under Highway 97 were overwhelmed when they were partially blocked by debris. Portions of Highway 97 and the CN Rail crossing downstream of Commotion Creek were destroyed when the water flooded the banks of the creek, causing road and rail closures for several days.
Engineering assessments have been ongoing and the ministry now has concluded that a bridge, capable of accommodating water flow levels similar to those last year, is the appropriate permanent solution at Commotion Creek.
Design work on the new bridge is underway and will be ongoing over the next few months.
As part of over $80 million announced for emergency preparedness investments on March 15, the Province of B.C. is investing over $60 million provincewide in flood protection.
In addition, as part of $2.13 million provided to the Fraser Basin Council, $1 million will benefit the region through the development of an inventory and engineering assessment of all orphan or unmanaged dikes in British Columbia. This assessment will evaluate the structural conditions of the dikes and determine the cost to upgrade the dikes to provincial standard and to acquire at-risk properties. The goal of this project is to assess the risks to local communities and to help facilitate the transfer of diking authority to local governments.