On November 1, the following update was posted on the Province of Manitoba’s Flood Information website.
- Exploratory work for possible channel locations started July 4.
- Logistical work such as setting up camps, building an access road and establishing drainage started in early July and additional contractors began work Aug. 15.
- Actual channel digging started Aug. 29.
- More than 130 workers have been involved in this construction project. At times, the Aboriginal worker complement was up to 50 per cent.
- The total excavation project moved about 1.5 million cubic metres of material. Approximately 30,000 more cubic metres of rock were also used.
- Ditches, dikes and temporary roads have been constructed on either side of the 6.5 kilometre (about four-mile) outlet.
- The 95 pieces of heavy equipment used included excavators, bulldozers and rock trucks, one dredge, two Amphibex machines, one floating excavator, four barges, four tugs, two helicopters, 15 boats, 10 high-velocity pumps and 30 support vehicles.
The Winnipeg Free Press has aerial video footage of the emergency channel. Includes brief interview with Premier Selinger.
Winnipeg Free Press story about the completion of the emergency channel.
“”It’s been an extraordinary accomplishment,” Selinger said Friday, as he and others toured the massive construction by helicopter and ground. “Everyone pulled together to get this done.”
Selinger said work on the $100-million channel will be finished on schedule, by Tuesday, allowing heavy equipment to slowly remove an earth berm that separates the mouth of the channel from a still-flooded Lake St. Martin.
That task will take about a day, but when gone it will allow about 7,000 cubic feet per second of water from Lake St. Martin to flow down the channel towards a huge marsh, where it will spread out and slowly make its way towards Lake Winnipeg.”
Today’s update from the province on the emergency channel:
- Construction of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel is over 75 per cent complete and remains on track to be finished in November. However, progress on the final stage depends on weather conditions and logistical issues;
- Once the project is completed it will result in lower levels on Lake St. Martin;
- The Fairford Dam Structure is expected to remain open throughout the winter, which will help lower Lake Manitoba water levels;
- Over 130 workers and 95 pieces of heavy equipment continue to work on the project. The Aboriginal employment rate on the project has ranged up to 50 per cent;
- Ditches, dikes and temporary roads have been constructed on either side of the 6.5 kilometre outlet and most of the outlet has now been built;
- The work site is remote and workers, equipment and supplies must be moved by boat or barge across eight kilometres of Lake St. Martin, to the site;
- Plans are now underway, and an open tender will be issued very soon, for construction of an extended reach of the channel from Buffalo Creek to Lake Winnipeg. This will help ease spring break-up and ice jam-related flooding along the Dauphin River by diverting water more directly into Lake Winnipeg. This reach of the channel project was outlined as a possible component in the original project description and is accounted for in the initial cost estimates. Once the main portion of the channel is completed and operational in November, construction of the extended reach will begin with a goal of it being operational before the spring melt.
Visit the Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel update page here. You can also see photos and aerial footage.
(WINNIPEG, Manitoba) August 11, 2011 – The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee (LMFRC) met with government officials for further clarification about plans to lower the level of Lake Manitoba immediately and into next spring. The committee was told a 30-member engineering team worked around the clock to analyze every possible channel option.
However, officials including Infrastructure and Transportation Deputy Minister Doug McNeil and Manitoba Water Stewardship’s Steve Topping, said the detailed information was not prepared for public distribution at this time. The LMFRC hopes the province will consider sharing this information with taxpayers across the province as it becomes available.
“We are grateful the government is moving forward with a project that will improve the drainage of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. The LMFRC feels the rural municipalities should have access to the information used in designing the emergency drainage channels and should be involved in this process,” says Tom Teichroeb, LMFRC Chairperson.
Frustrating to the LMFRC is the constant refrain from Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton that the government is collaborating with municipalities. To date, the LMFRC has not been involved in any consultation about the emergency drainage channel.
“Not one municipality has received one phone call looking for information about these proposed routes,” says Teichroeb. “Telling us their plan is not consultation. The people who earn their living on and around this lake would like to be involved in the decisions that are affecting the management of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin.”
The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee represents 11 municipalities surrounding Lake Manitoba. It gives voice to the urgent needs of all residents and businesses for an immediate solution to the flooding. It seeks adequate and inclusive compensation for the rehabilitation of land, businesses and residential properties damaged by the man-made flooding of Lake Manitoba.
You are invited to attend an Open House on reducing the levels of Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba, on Thursday, August 18 beginning at 3:00pm. This presentation, hosted by MB Infrastructure and Transportation, will include a status update on the Lake St. Martin Emergency channel project as previously announced on July 26th, 2011.
3:00pm to 6:30 pm Open House (view story boards)
6:30pm to 7:00pm Presentation (similar to story boards)
7:00 to 8:00pm Q & A
Please be advised that the information being presented was previously presented at community meetings on July 29th 2011 in Eriksdale and Langruth and on August 2nd in St. Laurent.
This Open House will be held at CanadInns, Polo Park, 1405 St. Matthews Avenue, Winnipeg, Ambassador Room 4.