salmon arm observer, august 30, 2013

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August 30, 2013 edition of the Salmon Arm Observer

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    A7Nimble fingers on the banjo stringsn Vancouver-based banjo player Paul Silveria performs on stage at the NimbleFingers Bluegrass and Old-time Music Festival held Saturday at the Sorrento Centre. The newly-named event drew appreciative audiences for the music and old-fashioned family fun. It also featured music workshops throughout the week at the Sorrento Centre.

    James murray/market news

    Province to fund bridge construction

    The B.C. government has finally agreed to give Swansea Point resi-dents what they have been calling for since last summers devastating flooding from Hummingbird Creek.

    On Tuesday, Transport Minister Todd Stone announced the province will be committing $3 million to the

    construction of a new bridge next year along the creek over Highway 97A.

    Stone made the announcement while standing next to the existing culvert beneath the highway which rapidly clogged during last years flooding, sending water and debris over the highway and into residen-tial areas in Swansea Point.

    Following the flood event, the

    province contracted the firm Golder and Associates to assess the creek and provide recommendations for remedial work. Stone said Golders report is now public, and that it iden-tifies the culvert as not meeting min-istry requirements for flow capacity.

    So today, along with colleague Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap, Im pleased to announce the govern-ment is remedying the situation; we

    are going to construct a new, clear-span bridge on Highway 97A over Hummingbird Creek, said Stone. This bridge will replace the exist-ing culvert right behind me here. It will result in a higher level of de-pendability.

    The structure will also increase capacity for Hummingbird Creek

    Hummingbird Creek: Announcement of $3 million project to prevent washouts.By Lachlan Laberemarket news staff

    See Bridge on page 2

  • A2 www.saobserver.net Friday, August 30, 2013 Shuswap Market News

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    PHOTOGRAPHER

    and will reduce the chance of a blockage like all of you experi-enced last year, thus ensuring that Highway 97A remains open for Shuswap residents and tourists as well.

    In addition, Stone said the ministry will be doing additional work in the creek to further improve stream flows.

    Some of the gravel bed load will be re-moved from the creek near the outlet into Mara Lake. Approxi-mately 120 metres of creek bank adjacent to Hummingbird Creek Resort will also be strengthened, said Stone, noting the work will be on top of the $565,000 worth of stream improvements already completed.

    Both works were applauded by locals gathered for the an-nouncement. A number of them had attended a public meeting hosted by the ministry ear-lier this year. At that meeting, MOTI dis-trict manager Murray Tekano went over re-medial work proposed for the creek which did not include what locals wanted most: a bridge or, at the least, a larger culvert.

    Since then, the Swan-sea Point Community Association, through a Freedom of Informa-tion request, was able to acquire a 2003 re-

    port conducted by the province following the 1997 debris flow in Hummingbird Creek. In addition to a bridge that was proposed by the province but never built, the report recom-mends a 150,000-cubic metre debris berm with associated outlets and a retaining wall as the best option for mitigat-ing future flood events.

    The report also states the frequency of debris flows is expected to increase, and that by completing the above option, with a bridge, the province would re-duce the risk to life by 75 per cent.

    On July 24, 2013, NDP safety critic Kathy Corrigan spoke to the report and the related concerns of Swansea Point residents in the legislature.

    This information and the severity of the circumstances were not shared with the pub-lic, stated Corrigan. I have talked to many of the residents. They are shocked. They have just received this. They are shocked by this report and the fact that it was withheld from them and that the decisions that they made, and that the government made subsequently, did not include any sharing of this information with them. They are very concerned.

    Community Asso-ciation president Dan Keely said he is still concerned, though the announcement goes a

    long way to ease the apprehension of local residents and property owners.

    Stone said the 2003 report looked at the cir-cumstance of the day, and that since then a lot of work has been done on the creek.

    The combination of the work thats been done to date, as well as the replacement of this culvert with a new bridge, will provide the protection I think all the residents are looking for, said Stone.

    That all being said, were going to continue to monitor and, if fur-ther action is required, well assess it at that time.

    Stone says he expects construction will be completed next year.

    Bridge to be open in 2014Continued from front

    n Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Shus-wap MLA Greg Kyllo speak at Tuesdays an-nouncement that the province will fund the con-struction of a new bridge on Highway 97A.

    LachLan Labere/market news

  • Shuswap Market News Friday, August 30, 2013 www.saobserver.net A3

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