The City of Fernie has worked to meet the needs of residents and continue to provide quality of life for all. The funding through grants and response to community concerns and feedback has been exceptional.

Here is the latest update from the City:

The Annex Dike Flood Protection Improvement Project is the City’s third major flood mitigation and protection initiative and is valued at $4.975 million (grant funded).

The Annex Dike protects the over 900 residences, 113 commercial properties, 6 industrial properties, and 2,000+ citizens living in the Annex neighbourhood.

Project Goals:
This focus of the Annex Dike Flood Protection Improvement project is to:
– Raise the dike along the 1,800 linear meters of the existing dike to identified flood construction levels
– Reconstruct the dike slope and crest
– Improve erosion protection

In 2019, the City of Fernie commissioned and completed a Flood Mitigation Plan, which identified flood hazards based on existing flood protection infrastructure and new floodplain mapping from the 2017 Elk River and 2014 Coal Creek studies. Many of the existing dikes were determined to be too low, and additional gaps in flood protection were identified throughout the community. The recommended mitigation measures throughout the City were prioritized based on the associated risks using a likelihood and consequence of failure methodology.

Based on this plan, the City has secured $8.234 million in funding to improve flood protection since 2019. So far, we’ve increased our flood protection in two locations, along the Mountview Dike and the Northlands “Maiden Lake” Dike. Our third and current project aims to provide flood protection for Annex residents by upgrading the Annex Dike.

Annex Neighbourhood Active Transportation Network Improvements
Further enhancements to the Annex Dike are also underway, funded through a $500,000 provincial Active Transportation grant that will provide paved trails, accessible and inclusive features. These enhancements will integrate the Annex Neighbourhood Active Transportation Network, along the newly upgraded dike, with the grant-funded Fernie Valley Pathway Segment 1B.

Project Goals:
– Provide accessible and inclusive features that benefit locals and visitors
– Connect the Annex trail system to the Fernie Valley Pathway and provide improved inclusive accessibility and trail animation/interpretation

To advance these initiatives, the City is working on three separate but connected projects with a combined project value of $7.178 million:

– Annex Dike Flood Protection Improvements – providing 1:500 flood protection for the Annex neighbourhood from the bridge to bridge.
– Annex Neighbourhood Active Transportation Network Improvements – improving mobility and active transportation along the Annex Dike.
– Fernie Valley Pathway Segment1B – enhancing our active transportation network from West Fernie Bridge to Provincial Park Road.
These projects represent a significant investment in meeting the challenges of climate change and climate change mitigation by investing in both flood protection and active transportation, supporting reduced reliance on motorized transportation throughout the community.

Project Status and Next Steps
Improvements to the Annex Dike are still in the design phase, with 90% of the design complete and approved. This means structural designs of the Dike has been finalized by engineers, and we’re now working to refine features, enhancements, and discretionary items not critical to the structure, such as wellness stations, a hand launch, landscaping etc.

Once designs are complete, the City of Fernie will issue a Request for Proposal that combines the final design and paving of the Annex Dike Flood Protection, Annex Neighbourhood Active Transportation Network Improvements and Fernie Valley Pathway projects to provide an integrated, inclusive, active transportation corridor connecting the community along the Elk River and Highway 3.

Engaging the Community
The City has formed an Advisory Group to review public feedback, provide recommendations, and generate ideas for discretionary elements, such as wellness stations.

The group is made up of representatives from the Francophone school, the Seniors’ community, Fernie Academy, Fernie & District Historical Society, Elk River Alliance, Tourism Fernie, and Fernie City Administration.

Over the course of January and February 2022, the group has been exploring different ideas and making recommendations in the following areas:

– Overall theme of wellness stations
– Location of wellness stations
– Physical expression of theme, the fun part, determining exactly what a wellness station can look like (Considering amenities such as exercise equipment, benches, storyboards, structures, etc.)

The Advisory Groups meets biweekly, exploring BIG IDEAS and delving into what their visions are for the Annex Neighbourhood Active Transportation Network Improvements project. Summaries of these meetings are available for anyone interested in following along.

he broader public will have access to a comment forum on the project webpage for providing their feedback on the Advisory Group’s progress. To provide additional public access, the March 3 Advisory Group meeting from 5pm – 7pm will be live streamed and recorded for the public to view. Following the Advisory Group’s final meeting, City staff will present recommendations to Council in late March.

Click here to read more and join the Advisory Group March 3rd meeting as a viewer.

By working together we can and will make Fernie a better place, this is an impressive project!

Questions or feedback about Annex Dike & Active Transportation Projects can be directed via email to:

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