The Old Island Highway between Ryan Road and Headquarters Road will be closed on Thursday, November 19 from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. During the closure, northbound and southbound commuters will be detoured via Ryan Road and the Island Highway.
The closure is required while City of Courtenay public works crews test a new Aqua Dam. The Aqua Dam is a water-filled, portable, temporary dam that can be used in flood control efforts. 440 metres of Aqua Dam and related equipment were recently acquired by the City.
David Allen, CAO for the City of Courtenay, said the Aqua Dam will enhance the City’s flood response capabilities. “In the event of a flood, the Aqua Dam will allow us to create a flood barrier, more efficiently and easily than with traditional methods such as sandbags,” he advised. “We don’t know if there will be flooding this year, but if it happens, we now have more tools in our arsenal.”
The Aqua Dam, trailers, pumps, and other related equipment are valued at approximately $100,000, and were purchased with federal Gas Tax funds. The new equipment will be part of the City’s overall flood operations procedures, geared at maintaining important transportation links as long as possible and mitigating flooding in low-lying areas, particularly the Puntledge Business District.
Other flood control measures will include a manhole blocking system which would prevent water from surging back into the drainage system from the river. City public works crews have also begun stockpiling sandbags, to be staged and deployed if necessary.
During the temporary road closure on Thursday, traffic control personnel will be on site to assist all commuters, including cyclists and pedestrians.
The signage posted by local community groups at the bottom of Ryan Road will need to be removed prior to the Aqua Dam test. The signs will be taken to the Public Works Yard for storage, and will be available there for pickup. The City is reaching out to as many of these groups as possible to let them know.
For more information, please contact City of Courtenay public works at 250-338-1525.