Brian LaCas, Evan Skyes and Kimberley’s Cori Barraclough won the Environmental Award from the Engineers and Geologists BC for their design and oversight of the Mark Creek Flume Flood Management and Stream Rehabilitation project that was completed in 2016.
A multidisciplinary team of engineers and geoscientists worked alongside biologists and environmental scientists to mitigate flood risks while restoring a natural habitat. LaCas was the Hydro-Technical Engineer, Skyes the Geotechnical Engineer and Barraclough implemented all of the ecological aspects. This project is the first example in BC of a concrete channel being replaced by a naturalized stream channel in an urban area.
“The City of Kimberley was very concerned about flooding within the City and this was due to a 1950’s concrete flume that was built to channelize Mark Creek through the city,” said LaCas. “The deterioration of the flume meant that the City of Kimberley would have flood vulnerability. They also wanted a more natural river environment which had very strong environmental values.”
“From a geotechnical point of view, the biggest challenges were creating steep, stable slopes in very limited space, and also to create those stable slopes to withstand relatively high water flow velocities. It also required a couple of drop structures within the flume itself in order to slow the velocity,” said Skyes.
“I think this is one of the first examples of a concrete channel being replaced by a naturalized system, certainly in BC and possibly even in Canada,” said Barraclough. “I grew up in Kimberley and as a kid the creek used to run orange with acid rock drainage from the mine. For us now to be able to naturalize that system, protect the community and restore the habitat at the same time is a really good feeling.”