RICHMOND, B.C. – The city of Richmond is poised to start the next phase of construction and upgrades to its dike network and flood protection system.
The Lower Mainland has 49 kilometres of perimeter dike and 39 drainage pump stations that protect it from floods, ocean storm surges and freshets. The Flood Protection Management Strategy and Dike Master Plan are the city’s guiding framework for continual upgrades and improvements to address climate change-induced sea level rise.
Dike improvements will first target the north dike, between Nelson Road and the west edge of the train trestle near 21200 River Road. Approved by Council in the 2020 Capital Budget, this work will continue to maintain and enhance the city’s current flood protection service levels.
To stabilize the ground and prevent erosion, the city will prep the area by planting almost 1,000 trees to replace 324 that will need to be removed. The trees that need to be removed are largely cottonwoods that have grown on the water side of the dike. These trees are being undermined by erosion and present a safety hazard to both road and Fraser River users.
The project is building on completed work or work that is in progress. The city has completed dike raising for the upgrade of the South Dike between Gilbert Road and No. 3 Road Pier. Upgrades included raising and widening approximately 650 metres of dikes and construction of an improved multi-use path to enhance the safety and accessibility of pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to these upgrades, 1.6 kilometres of dikes were re-armoured with 11,400 tonnes of foundation stone (rip-rap) as part of the city’s Dike Maintenance Program in 2019. Future dike raising locations include the South Dike between No. 3 Road and Finn Slough.
The city noted it has made significant progress upgrading the city’s drainage pump stations to accommodate a growing population and changing climate. Construction of Shell Road North Pump Station and No. 7 Road South Pump Station is underway and construction of Horseshoe Slough Pump Station is nearing completion.
“Through capital improvements and investment in preventative maintenance programs, the city is able to proactively prepare and respond to flood related concerns, as its Flood Protection Management Strategy aims to raise dikes and establish a world-class flood protection standard,” read a statement from officials. “The city will continue to engage key stakeholders and the public on climate change, flood protection, and area-specific considerations through the use of social media, open houses, presentations and other platforms.”