Downtown Calgary flood mitigation barrier gets federal and provincial money

Click to play video: 'Feds partner with Alberta government to fund eight infrastructure projects'
Feds partner with Alberta government to fund eight infrastructure projects
WATCH: Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure for Alberta, was joined on Monday via teleconference by Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi to announce the joint funding of eight new infrastructure projects, including the Downtown Flood Barrier in Calgary. – Oct 26, 2020

The flood mitigation barrier in Calgary’s downtown will be getting a 1.4-kilometre extension, thanks to federal and provincial funding.

The project will run along the south bank of the Bow River and connect to the Centre Street Bridge lower deck flood barriers, forming an uninterrupted barrier along the river.

The barrier joins upstream work on the Bow and Elbow rivers as the main parts of the city’s flood mitigation strategy.

“Today’s announcement helps us complete those projects,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

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Nenshi joined the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna and Alberta’s Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda for the announcement Monday.

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“Building up the Eau Claire flood barrier is an important part of that, as well as the Upper Plateau Separation project, which means that all of the rain that falls on the north hill doesn’t pool into the community of Sunnyside but actually has a separate channel to drain into the river,” the mayor said.

The flood barrier will cost $21.1 million and the upper plateau separation project will cost $36.8 million, with the $20.9 million coming from Ottawa and $13.7 million from the city for the two projects.

Click to play video: 'Flood prevention barriers worry homeowners along Bow River in northwest Calgary'
Flood prevention barriers worry homeowners along Bow River in northwest Calgary

In a statement, the mayor said the work on the downtown flood barrier will create 100 jobs.

The projects in Calgary are part of a $107.5-million suite of eight green infrastructure projects in communities like Bassano, Black Diamond, Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement, Coaldale, Crowsnest Pass and Siksika Nation. Storm water management, drinking water treatment and improvement of wastewater systems were among the other projects.

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“I see projects like the ones announced today play a crucial role in Alberta’s recovery plan,” Panda said, noting 76 projects in 30 communities have been approved.

“That’s why I have asked Minister McKenna to find ways to send more money to Alberta because infrastructure will continue to be a key economic driver as work as we work to build and diversify Alberta’s economy.”

“These are good examples of how different levels of government can work together, can make a difference in the lives of our citizens. And I know how important it is to the economy of Alberta for the people of Alberta that create jobs right now and to grow the economy and position the province for the future,” McKenna said via videoconference, noting that the federal government has invested $4.9 billion in 338 projects in the province since 2015.

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In a statement, Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver said 600 jobs will be created from the eight projects,

The federal government is providing nearly 39 per cent of the funding and the province just less than 37 per cent.

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