Work on dike resumes

Work on the dike and river channel along the Grand downstream of Veterans Memorial Bridge resumed on Monday. The project is expected to take about four weeks to complete. Michelle Ruby

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Work has resumed on the dike and river channel along the Grand, downstream of Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The work is expected to take about four weeks to complete. The project began in the fall of 2018 but periodic high river levels and ice conditions along the river resulted in delays.

The project, said Cam Linwood, GRCA communications co-ordinator, is now about 75 per cent complete.

Linwood said the work includes the reduction of a large sediment bar and replacement of rip rap (large loose rock) along the base of the concrete slabs, which protect the face of the dike.

“The slabs are heavily exposed to ice in this section of the river and have deteriorated since the dike was constructed,” said Linwood. “This work will stabilize erosion at the base of the slabs to ensure they continue to help manage the risk of flooding.”

He said work last year identified that an ice jam through the area caused additional scour of the river bed requiring more rip rap than originally estimated.

The current work will involve the final shaping of the material along the slabs and moving material to the downstream portion of the project area. Work to reduce the sediment bar was largely done last year, said Linwood.

A section of the floodwall at River Road and Gladstone Avenue will be temporarily removed to allow trucks and equipment to access the area and complete restoration and placement of rip rap.

“River flows at this time of year are low and a contingency plan is in place in the event of higher flows,” said Linwood.

There will be temporary lane closures on River Road while the work is underway.

Construction access will take place off of Market Street South, through Rivergreen Park. Trucks will move rip rap from the park to the River Road access. Access through the park and along SC Johnson Trail will be restricted during construction. Signs will direct trail users to the sidewalk from Earl Haig Park to River Road.

Restoration of the site will include revegetation and planting in the area, said Linwood.

A major ice jam caused flooding and forced the evacuation of residents in some parts of the city in February 2018.

When a huge ice jam broke in the Cambridge area, it sent a surge of water that lifted enormous sheets of ice over the banks of the river in Brantford.
Areas of Eagle Place, Holmedale and West Brant flooded and the city evacuated 5,000 residents, declaring a five-day state of emergency.