A decision to move a section of Coldstream Creek because its current alignment is damaging the highway and surrounding wetlands will cost $450,000.
In a report presented to council Feb. 13, staff recommended moving the creek back to its pre-2018 channel and restoring the wetland in the area.
Council directed staff to send a letter to the Ministry of Forests, requesting the ministry to restore the creek to its original channel.
Staff met with government representatives to discuss the creek’s current alignment where it flows north around the Lavington wetland. The consensus was that the creek needs to be moved.
The report lists several reasons for this. One is that the current alignment is a source for sediments in the creek as it is eroding the new channel.
The creek is also impacting Highway 6 and repairs are needed to restore the shoulder. Further impacts to the highway could be significant during high freshet season, the report notes. There is also a limited ability to repair the shoulder and wetland without further channelizing the creek, narrowing the channel and altering the grade.
“Further damage to the wetland will result if not moved,” the report states.
Restoring the creek alignment will provide capacity in the creek for sediments to drop in the future and will protect the trees and riparian areas which are currently flooded upstream of the avulsion.
The process will involve dredging with a small excavator to limit the impact on the riparian vegetation. The bed of the creek will be dropped by 30 cm over the length of about 250 metres.
Due to inflation, the cost of the project has increased by 50 per cent since 2021. It would have cost $300,000 if done that year.
The $450,000 in funding would come from gas tax reserves.