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City of Brandon embarks on drainage infrastructure expansion

Myron Love
City of Brandon embarks on drainage infrastructure expansion

Brandon, Manitoba’s second largest city, is in the process of tendering contracts on a $30 million project that would see new stormwater infrastructure added to the city’s southeast aimed at augmenting and expanding on the overall drainage network.

The main two aspects of the Southeast Brandon Drainage Improvements Project will see augmentation in the area around the city’s cemetery property and expansion of the drainage network to the east, explains Merrilea Price, corporate communications officer for Brandon’s innovation, technology and communications department. 

“We are capitalizing on existing plans by utilizing undeveloped land within the city’s cemetery expansion area for much needed stormwater storage,” she reports. “This stormwater storage will be connected to the existing drainage system within the developed area.”

She adds the eastward expansion consists of extending the existing drainage network through the proposed southeast and east Brandon industrial secondary plan areas through the creation of a trunk drainage system.

This network will also setup for future connections to adjacent existing neighbourhoods to provide drainage relief.

She notes aspects of this new Southeast Drainage Improvements Project have been in planning for a number of years, including previous attempts to construct a drainage outlet for the Island Park Pond east of 1st Street. Most recently, she points out, the city has been planning and working through aspects of conceptual and preliminary design since early 2020.

Price identifies a number of challenges and considerations in relation to the project from a construction perspective. These include the matter of building a drainage system near existing wetland areas without disrupting the wetland system while maintaining adequate flow to the wetland. 

This also encompasses the concern of construction work in the vicinity of an environmentally sensitive area which is home to an endangered species of plant, the White Lady’s Slipper.

Another potential difficulty that Price alludes to is the anticipated presence of a high groundwater table which will most likely require dewatering during the construction process.

One part of the project the city is considering is construction of naturalized stormwater ponds. 

Price points out while this is not a new technology generally speaking, it is a newer policy for Brandon.

Construction is expected to be carried out over the next four to six years through multiple phases and construction contracts.

Brandon has a population of just over 50,000 and is located just south of the Trans-Canada about 200 kilometres due west of Winnipeg.

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