Friday, 06 April 2018 05:32

Creek bank stabilization project will prevent damage to infrastructure

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The eroded area of the creek bank has been stabilized with a combination of compacted soil, rocks and erosion control matting. The eroded area of the creek bank has been stabilized with a combination of compacted soil, rocks and erosion control matting.

A creek bank stabilization project along the Chinook Parkway in Swift Current will prevent any damage to the trail.


The project site is located just upstream of the historic C.P.R. Dam at Riverside Park. The eroding creek bank is next to a lookout point on the Chinook Parkway.
Mitch Minken, the City of Swift Current's general manager of infrastructure and operations, provided some details about the project after a regular council meeting, March 26.
“Through some of the movement of the creek we actually had some washout in the bank area there, and it’s starting to wash away from underneath that and encroaching on the pathway that’s there,” he said. “So we’ve got a project in there to stabilize that bank and bring it back to where we need it to be. That’s life with having a creek in your city. We’re stabilizing the bank in two or three locations a year just to make sure it doesn’t erode away and damage some of our facilities.”
The project has been scheduled to take place for a while, but the City experienced some difficulties to obtain material and contractors to do the work.
Regular users of the Chinook Parkway might have noticed the pile of rocks and sand in Riverside Park that have been used during the rehabilitation process.
“There’ll be some proper size rocks,” he said. “Usually in these stabilization ones we’ll use matting fabric to tie the rocks together and to tie it to the dirt once we put the dirt material in there so that it doesn’t erode again. So it gives it the strength until all the vegetation gets in place to keep it stable.”
City staff monitor the creek banks to identify any erosion issues that can cause damage to infrastructure.
“Most of these things happen when you have large rain or flood events or runoff events,” he said. “You’ll go out afterwards and do some inspections to see what happened.”
Creek bank stabilization projects have been carried out at various locations along the Swift Current Creek's meander through the city in recent years.
“The 2011 flood was really hard,” Minken said. “We ended up doing one on the Chinook golf course. We did one close to the 13th Avenue bridge, just in the flats there. We did one on the Elmwood golf course recently that eroded out. So there’s been various places where we’ve had to go in and help stabilize that.”
He noted that not all eroded areas will be stabilized and a decision to rehabilitate an area will be made after an evaluation of the surrounding area.
“Some of them depends on where they are and what we have around there, and some of them we just let nature takes it’s course and let the creek ends up where it ends up,” he said. “I know we’ve got some on the south side where we’ve got some erosion, but we’ve decided it’s not hurting anything. So we’ll just let it go.”
In the past the creek bank stabilization projects were successful and it was not necessary to do any follow-up work at those sites.
“We haven’t had problems with it again,” he said. “We’ve been really fortunate in the technology that’s there. Once we get in there and do it properly, it’s pretty stable from thereon. So we haven’t had any failure of ones that we’ve done.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

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