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REAY CREEK DAM READY FOR THIS YEAR’S SALMON RUN

 

Sidney, BC.; The Town of Sidney is pleased to announce substantial completion of the Reay Creek Dam Renovation Project. 

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith stated, ”On behalf of the Town of Sidney, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those involved with bringing this project to completion including, Town of Sidney staff, who worked tirelessly through a number of unexpected issues, the contractors and consultants who carried out the work, specifically KWL who was the design engineer for the Town and QM Environmental who was the construction contractor. Also, a thank you to the WSANEC Leadership Council for their guidance and support on this important project, which is located in their traditional territory, the Peninsula Streams Society, and to the neighbourhood residents of Reay Creek for their patience and cooperation throughout the construction process.”

The project ran into unforeseen issues when installing the sheet metal for the dam due to a deep layer of clay on the bank. This caused a delay in the project as plans needed to be adjusted. Then, the project was hit with unseasonable, heavy rainfalls, which further delayed work and created a new set of issues with flooding in the work zone. In the end, the project came together through the hard work and ingenuity of the contractors and consultants. Now, the dam along with the fish ladder is in place for the upcoming salmon spawning season.

Dam improvements were undertaken in conjunction with Transport Canada’s remediation of the pond. Reay Creek Pond was classified as a Class 1 contaminated site (high priority for action) in October 2016 by Transport Canada after sediment samples revealed high levels of heavy metals, including cadmium, zinc, chromium and lead. The contamination of the pond was linked to industrial activity at the airport as far back as 75 years ago when it was operated by Transport Canada. The Town extends thanks to Transport Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada and their consultants for completing the Pond Remediation Project and for their cooperation with the Town’s concurrent Dam Renovation Project.

Upgrades to the dam meet current BC Dam Safety Regulations, including improved passage of storm flows, withstanding earthquakes and improved overall stability of the structure. As well, it enhances and protects the environment, including fish passage around the dam structure. 

In the near future, handrails and signage are to be installed to improve public safety in the area. In the winter/spring of 2021, the Town will undertake a public engagement process for park enhancements. 

In the meantime, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the process of this integral environmental project during the Mayor’s next Virtual Town Hall scheduled for Wednesday, November 25, beginning at 6:00 pm. Details for the Virtual Town Hall via Zoom are available on the Town’s website. 

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