You asked, and we’re here to answer! At the end of July, we issued a Voyent Alert to residents impacted by a partial road closure along 101st Street, resulting from a water backup caused by heavy rainfall. Public Works crews were quick to respond to the incident, installing temporary barricades and signs to help direct traffic.
However, this incident brought up additional questions from residents, including what’s being done with the slope, which has required some engineering and monitoring over the past couple of years. So, instead of only answering those residents who asked questions, we decided to provide answers to all of you, knowing that if a couple of people asked questions, many more may be wondering the same things.
Where is 101st Street?
101 Street leads north-south, across the Heart River Bridge and upwards to the south end of town.
Why is it roped off, and how much of it is roped off?
During the summer of 2022, the hill behind the Points West building on River Road had slumped, and the Town determined that work would need to be done on a stormwater sewer that had failed, and which required repairs. As a precaution during Summer 2022, crews reduced 101st Street to one lane, with traffic lights and barriers controlling the lane.
At that time, a geotechnical firm was engaged to investigate the storm sewer, and the sloped area near it.
What’s happening now?
Slumping has been observed, and is combined with issues related to a stormwater sewer drain. The Town had contracted an engineering firm and a geotechnical firm to monitor the slope. In August 2020, four slop inclinometers (SIS) were installed to regularly monitor the area for movement, and that monitoring has continued! The firms monitor the SIS as needed, and reported results in Autumn 2022, Spring 2023, and again in July 2023.
The Spring 2023 monitoring efforts showed no obvious signs of movement, which was consistent with the results of the Autumn 2022 readings. However, two surface washouts were observed in July, after significant rainfalls.
As such, the Town again took a precautionary approach by restricting traffic on the southbound lane of 101st Street, by installing barriers. Since then, we received an update from the consultant that there has been no movement in slope, based on the ongoing monitoring. What we are seeing right now is simply overland water damage/runoff from the recent rains.
What was the issue caused by recent rainfalls?
Heavy rainfalls resulted in two surface washouts on 101st Street. Since then, we have discovered additional overland water damage/runoff from the recent rains.
Why does this area need to be roped off now?
As we continue to work with subject matter experts on ensuring the area is safe, the Town is taking precautions as the road is on a hill.
What is the Town doing to rectify the situation?
The civil engineering firm the Town engaged to address the stormwater issues has completed a preliminary design for replacement of the storm drain structure, but is now reviewing the design with the geotechnical engineers after the recent rainfalls, and more monitoring to determine if there is deep movement of the slope.
The Town is also developing options for slope stabilization in this area — but dealing with the stormwater issues is the first step! We are so happy to have learned that there has been no movement in slope, based on our ongoing monitoring efforts, meaning that what we are seeing now is simply overland water damage/runoff from the recent rains.
Above all, we want you to know that we are working hard to rectify the issue, and to ensure resident safety. That’s our No. 1 focus! Thank you for your questions, your interest, and your support.
Information about this area has previously been presented to Council in public meetings.
Stay in the know!
We’re happy to answer your questions, but we also try to get information of relevance to you out before some of those questions arise. That was done in this case through Voyent Alert, where only residents impacted by the partial road closure were notified so that they knew what to expect. We encourage you to sign up for Voyent Alert so that you can stay informed about what’s going on throughout the Town and in your neighbourhood.
Register for Voyent Alerts here: https://peaceriver.ca/voyent-alert/