The federal and provincial departments issued their final permitting approvals for the South Ruckle bank armouring project and the contractor began construction this morning. South Ruckle, a neighbourhood of Grand Forks, was greatly impacted by the Boundary freshet flood in 2018. The seven to eight week project will protect the bank from erosion from the public beach to the community garden. Heavy equipment will place large rock and fill along the bank according to an engineered design. It will not prevent water from coming over the top of the bank, but it will stop any more bank from falling into the river and affecting critical infrastructure servicing the area. Neighbours can expect noise from the machinery from 7am to 7pm on work days, and lots of dump trucks on local roads.
The project design started in the fall of 2018 when the province approved funding for the first stage. Staff submitted that design to begin the permitting process with the province and the federal government. The province issued further funding in December to purchase the rip rap because it takes some time to prepare that quantity and size of rock. Funding for the placement of the rip rap was approved in February 2019 and the last required permit was approved on February 27, 2019. Required permits include:
- Permit Authorizing the Occupation of Crown Land
- Water Sustainability Act Section 11
- Fisheries Act Authorization
- Species at Risk Act permit
Initial planning of the project started in June 2018 after the effects of the freshet flood were analyzed in a hydrological review. In September 2018, local officials directed the Boundary Flood Recovery to pursue projects including the South Ruckle Bank Armouring project. Emergency Management BC funded this project because of the risk to public infrastructure and property due to bank erosion. Boundary Flood Recovery continues to seek funding for the other projects endorsed by the City of Grand Forks Council and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board. For example, if the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and the National Disaster Mitigation Program grant applications are successful, they include flood protection infrastructure projects for several neighbourhoods including downtown. Staff continue to look for other sources of funding for the $60-90m of proposed works.