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Work begins on $40 million Rivers Dam rehabilitation project in Manitoba

Work begins on $40 million Rivers Dam rehabilitation project in Manitoba
WIKIPEDIA — Construction has begun on climate risk upgrades to the Rivers Dam on Lake Wahtopanah in Manitoba.

WINNIPEG — Permanent rehabilitation of Manitoba’s Rivers Dam has begun as the province aims to increase its resilience in the face of growing climate risk.

The Rivers Dam is located on Lake Wahtopanah in Rivers Provincial Park. In 2020, heavy rains caused record flooding in the area with water levels at the dam reaching an all-time high. Eighty-three people were evacuated from their homes.

Since that incident, interim repairs to the dam’s spillway were completed in 2021 but the Government of Manitoba realized a more permanent solution would be needed, according to a news release.

The first phase of the permanent upgrades includes rehabilitation of the low flow conduit at a cost of $5.5 million. The work is expected to be finished in the fall.

After that, the concrete spillway and embankment will be rehabilitated. Tendering for this portion of the project will go out in spring 2024 with construction starting in the summer. The work is estimated to cost $34 million.

Once the project is completed, the dam is expected to be able to pass a flood event “well in excess of the one-in-a-1,000-year event,” reads the release.

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