A number of large trees are in the process of being removed from along Mill Creek.
“We are trying to prevent debris from plugging the screens,” Rod MacLean told Global News.
MacLean is the the manager of utility planning for the City of Kelowna.
The work that MacLean is talking about is being done just upstream of the diversion that sends overflow water from Mill Creek to Mission Creek.
“There’s actually a screened pipeline that that goes underneath and follows Leckie Road,” Maclean explained.
“It follows it all the way down and outlets to Mission Creek.”
Keeping the diversion’s head gate free of debris is critical to prevent downstream flooding events where Mill Creek winds through residential neighbourhoods.
“We would get extensive flooding,” said MacLean, explaining what happens when the diversion is blocked.
So as part of the City of Kelowna’s $55 million, six-year Mill Creek flood protection project, extensive improvements are being made to the diversion structure and the Mill Creek corridor.
“What we are trying to do is to be able to stop the debris and control the debris entering the facility at the beginning portions and slow the water down,” Maclean said.
“So we are trying to widen it as much as possible at this point.”
The much-needed mitigation work has closed Enterprise Dog Park and some foot trails as well as interrupting traffic flows on a portion of the Okanagan Rail Trail.
“We are going to try and keep the rail trail open as much as possible. Access will be limited, obviously,” MacLean said.
According to the city, work on the Mill Creek flood mitigation project is scheduled to take place Monday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
But in order to make sure that all the work is done before spring freshet, construction could occur outside of regular work hours.