WINNIPEG — Engineering firms Hatch Ltd. and KGS Group have been awarded contracts for engineering design and construction oversight for the $540-million Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels project.
“The Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels project is vital to protect Manitobans who have sacrificed so much because of flooding,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler in a press release. “Better water control means better protection against flooding for these Manitobans and the sooner this work begins, the better.”
Hatch Ltd. was awarded the Lake Manitoba engineering design and construction oversight contract.
The Lake Manitoba channel includes the flood protection channel, water control structure and preliminary design of two bridges.
TREK Geotechnical Inc., Stantec Consulting Ltd. and Dillon Consulting Ltd. will assist.
KGS Group was awarded the Lake St. Martin engineering design and construction oversight contract. The Lake St. Martin channel includes the flood protection channel and water control structure.
WSP Global Inc. and North/South Consultants Inc. will assist.
The province has made the project an urgent priority after severe flooding in 2011 and 2014. The floods resulted in extensive damage to homes, agriculture, businesses and infrastructure in the province as well as emergency evacuations in the communities around Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. Costs related to the 2011 flood alone have grown to almost $1.4 billion to date.
Premier Brian Pallister announced he is hoping to expedite the process by efficiently completing Crown-Aboriginal consultation and environmental regulatory processes, Indigenous engagement and consultation, and public participation.
However, he anticipates delays could arise from the complex environmental regulatory process, including consultations with communities that he said will not be materially affected by the construction of the outlet.
The combat this, he has called on the federal government to work with the province to permit the project on an emergency basis.
“The outlet channels are critically important to ensuring the safety of all Manitobans,” said Pallister in the press release. “With each passing spring, our communities remain vulnerable to further flooding.”
Construction of an access road to the Lake St. Martin construction area is already underway and the remainder of construction could start in 2019, added Pallister.