Quesnel, B.C. – A large-scale initiative to develop and implement measures to reduce land movement in Quesnel is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012. The West Quesnel Land Stability Program, a $4.7 million project, will install 14 pumping wells; build nine horizontal drain sites consisting of more than 70 drains; and provide significant storm water system improvements for West Quesnel and area residents.
Over $3.1 million was provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, through the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component program, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan for this project. The City of Quesnel also contributed over $1.5 million to pay for the full-scale dewatering program. In addition to the federal and provincial contributions, the City of Quesnel has invested more than $2.1 million on the West Quesnel Land Stability Program since 2000.
“Our Government’s investment is helping to create jobs and economic growth here in the City of Quesnel,” said Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, on behalf the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “We are pleased to invest in projects that contribute to the local economy while developing municipal infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for West Quesnel residents.”
The Province of British Columbia added $1.2 million in 2006. This funding supported more than 10 years of work, including significant data collection and analysis, a trial dewatering program, and ongoing project administration.
“Families rely on their community to identify needed improvements, and the funding needed for rehabilitation,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong. “Managing groundwater as it affects the safety and stability of those parts of the city inhabited by citizens is an important use of this funding.”
The City and its engineering consultants have spent the past 18 months completing a stringent environmental approval process; with those approvals in place, the final work plan is nearing completion. The City will hold a public open house in late winter to update residents regarding that work plan. In addition, a newsletter will be mailed to every home and business inside City limits in early January.
“This announcement is encouraging, especially for the more than 2,000 people who call the land stability study area home,” said Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “We’re committed to finding a solution and keeping our residents informed of our progress along the way.”
Dewatering techniques such as those proposed for West Quesnel have worked in other locations, such as Aberdeen in Kamloops. The City’s trial dewatering program, which ran from June 2007 to May 2008, showed that by removing large volumes of water, a drop in groundwater levels and pressures was noted at nearby measuring stations. The full-scale dewatering program was designed based on this information.
The area affected by the ground movement includes about 940 parcels of land, 750 homes, several businesses, one elementary school and more than 20 per cent of the City’s population.
The Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund - Communities Component (BCF-CC) is a federal-provincial program that addresses the unique infrastructure needs of both rural and urban communities with populations of less than 100,000.
Through this unprecedented Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is providing long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada supports a stronger, safer and better country.
Since October 2008, over $5.5 billion has been committed by the province to over 900 infrastructure projects in British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 35,000 jobs over the life of the projects.
For more information about the West Quesnel Land Stability Program, visit www.quesnel.ca/WQLS.html