Phase two of diversion upgrades, part of the Mill Creek Flood Protection Project, begins July 10 and will continue into Spring 2024.
The multi-year, multi-million-dollar project is partially funded by the federal government.
It will improve riparian conditions and reduce flooding potential from Kelowna International Airport to Okanagan Lake.
“This phase of the project includes the raising of the dikes at both the north and south sides of the upgraded diversion structure located next to the Okanagan Rail Trail east of Dilworth Drive,” said Rod MacLean, utilities planning manager.
It will slow down creek flow of the creek water and improve the safety and effectiveness of the diversion, he added.
Some mature trees will have to be removed during the work. A pre-clearing bird nesting survey will also be completed by a biologist prior to any onsite tree removal.
“To ensure adequate compensation for the loss of riparian forest cover, the City of Kelowna has established criteria where a minimum ratio of 3:1 of the trees removed will be replanted on site,” said MacLean.
In total, 260 replacement trees will be replanted, as well as 7,000 riparian shrubs. Nesting boxes will also be added to support local bird species.
The city and the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will be implementing several fish habitat improvements upstream of the project site.
A detour of the Okanagan Rail Trail will be in place for the duration of the project, and visitors are asked to note signs posted during construction.