Nine years after a catastrophic flood caused billions of dollars in damage to parts of Calgary and surrounding communities, work is to begin on a dam to protect the area from rising water in the future.
Premier Jason Kenney says the province has awarded a $744-million contract for the Springbank off-stream reservoir to Vinci Construction.
More than two-thirds of the cost — $576 million — will be picked up by Alberta taxpayers, and the remainder will come from the federal government’s disaster mitigation fund.
The project was delayed because a number of landowners west of Calgary were unhappy about the dam’s affect on their properties.
Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney says voluntary agreements have been completed with all the landowners, so there is no need to expropriate any properties.
The dam will divert water from the Elbow River away from populated areas, including Calgary.
Five people died and damage ran to $5 billion across southern Alberta during extensive flooding in 2013.