The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority will startwork next week on the remediation of 45m of Chippewa Creek at Oak St and reestablish the Kinsmen Trail link across the creek with a new pedestrian bridge.
“The benefits to the residents of North Bay are two-fold; the channel work will repair streambank erosion and help alleviate upstream flood hazards," said Dave Mendicino, Chair of the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) in a release.
"The new pedestrian bridge will provide a significant enhancement to the City’s active transportation network."
The NBMCA Board awarded the $763,000 project to CSL Group Ltd. Construction was expected to begin last fall, but was rescheduled to this year. It is expected to begin August 3 and be completed by late fall 2021. Pedestrians will be redirected to Main St. until construction is completed.
“The creek repair gives us an opportunity to enhance the city’s active transportation network with a new pedestrian bridge that will strengthen the pedestrian and cycling link between West Ferris, downtown and ultimately the waterfront and across the city,” added Mendicino.
An old ONTC railway bridge as well as the existing closed pedestrian bridge, will be removed as part of the work. The new 28m long prefabricated steel bridge with a wooden deck will accommodate the widened creek channel and utilities in the area.
The need for the creek repairs was identified in a 2015 erosion control study for Chippewa Creek. The Oak St. section of the creek was tagged as the top priority. Reoccurring flooding and excessive erosion were causing instability of the banks and channels. The stone abutments along this portion of the creek were becoming unstable.
Following the erosion control study, the best remediation option for this site was identified through a class environmental assessment completed in 2019.
The old concrete abutments will be replaced with new armor stone wall on one side. The other side of the creek will be regraded to create a wider creek channel incorporating principles of natural channel design including native shrub plantings and a bankfull bench to help reestablish riparian habitat areas.
Conservation Authority officials believe shoreline vegetation will help shore up the streambanks and create natural habitat. The project will also help alleviate upstream flooding hazards and slightly reduce the flood plain in the area.
The costs of the original Chippewa Creek erosion study, the environmental assessment and the construction work are shared between the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, the City of North Bay, and the Province of Ontario.
The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and its 10 member municipalities. A non-profit organization, the NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with environmental needs throughout the region’s watershed. The NBMCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.
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