A project to mitigate the potential for flooding along the Chemainus river by removing gravel and sediment from a dry channel is getting underway.
The municipality of North Cowichan says that downstream from the Trans-Canada Highway bridge there has been significant riverbank erosion and a build up of sediment.
The plan is to increase the capacity of the river channel by excavating sediment and gravel from a large side channel.
The gravel will be used by Halalt and Penelekut First Nations for the creation of gravel-filled ’Hesco bags,’ which can be deployed to protect property during a flood.
North Cowichan is also cooperating with Emergency Management BC and the Cowichan Valley Regional District on new 200-year floodplain mapping to help develop mitigation strategies for the flood-prone area.
North Cowichan says there are many factors to take into account when doing this work, such as land-use, climate change and fisheries, and environmental impacts.
While the work is underway drivers can expect closures of a northbound lane of the Trans-Canada Highway near the bridge.