The Regional District of East Kootenay celebrated the completion of the $2.7-million West Fernie Dike Project on November 15. The dike system provides a one-in-200-year event level of protection for the community of West Fernie, Highway 3, and City of Fernie Infrastructure.

East Kootenay. Credit: James Heilman

All four phases of the project were funded through the Flood Protection Program, with Phase One being cost-shared by the Government of Canada’s Building Canada Fund and the province, and the final three phases split evenly between the federal government, provincial government, and the Regional District of East Kootenay, Electoral Area A Mine Tax Sharing Fund.

“Families and businesses in West Fernie know the terrible impact flooding can have,” said Minister of Energy and Mines, Minister Responsible for Core Review, and MLA for Kootenay East, Bill Bennett. “This investment will improve flood protection, safeguard the quality of our water and support the local economy by protecting the Elk River sports fishery.”

The project includes over 1230 metres of diking and bank protection, and was scheduled for completion in winter 2014. Work began in 2008.

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