Sundre erosion project going smoothly

A project to build erosion control measures on the Red Deer River near Sundre has been going smoothly, thanks in part to cool weather that has slowed melting.

A project to build erosion control measures on the Red Deer River near Sundre has been going smoothly, thanks in part to cool weather that has slowed melting.

“It’s really helped with the fact it’s kept the river level down,” said Ron Baker, the town’s director of operational services.

Even colder weather would have been welcome as the above-zero temperatures have made for some muddy conditions for trucks hauling in the pit fill that forms the core of the riprap-reinforced spurs being built on the river.

At least five of seven spurs are expected to be complete by the end of the week, said Baker.

About 14,000 tonnes of rock was stockpiled at the river for the $2.4-million project to construct spurs on the Red Deer River to deflect the current and alleviate persistent erosion problems that have eaten away riverbanks, threatening to expose water and sewer pipes and making a walking trail unsafe.

Initially, it was proposed that 12 spurs be built, but budget considerations prompted town officials to reduce the number to seven.

Baker said if there is money left over, an eighth will be added back into the project.

Erosion and the potential for flooding have been hot issues in the town since the 2005 flood sent water running down the main street. After years of lobbying by local residents and elected officials, the province announced last August that it would provide $2.4 million to cover the cost of the erosion project.

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