Annex Dike Project

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Project Overview

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.

The Annex Dike Project is the City's third major flood mitigation and protection initiative and is valued at $4.975 million.

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

Further enhancements to the project are being funded through a $500,000 provincial Active Transportation grant that will provide paved trails, accessible and inclusive features, and integrate the Annex Park trails with the grant-funded phase 1 of the Fernie Valley Pathway for a combined project value of $7.178 million.

This project represents 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 Goals

This focus of this 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
  • 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


Project Status and Next Steps

The detailed designs for the Annex Dike Project are currently 90% approved.

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


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I purchase or lease land adjacent to the Annex Dike that I have encroached on?

A: In nearly every case, no.

This flood mitigation project is grant funded, and the grant funding may be partially in jeopardy if we start adjusting the dike to suit encroaching property owners.

Despite the impacts to individual properties that encroach, it is unfair to taxpayers to move a very expensive capital investment to avoid encroached areas.

Residents must relocate any structures, landscaping, or fencing within their property lines as originally requested.

The City will not sell land that provides access to dike flood responses and maintenance needs or adjust the dike design to accommodate encroachments.

Q: What happens to fences on my property lines?

Heavy equipment, maintenance crews, and inspectors always require full access to the dike despite this need being intermittent and sometimes not needed for many years. If fences encroach and impede this access, they must be either removed or moved back onto private property. The City will work with individual property owners to determine if it is possible to accommodate requests to keep such fences while ensuring the safety and protection of the public and property.

Q: What is the setback, and will vehicles be driven near my fence?

The setback is the space required by Provincial standards and the Inspector of Dikes for approvals, and for practical reasons such as minimizing costs of construction and ensuring access for inspections and maintenance in the future. This means property owners need to ensure the setback area defined for the Dike is clear and free of any items and that they are not encroaching into this area.

Property lines have been staked as part of this project and property owners should be fully aware of their property boundaries and keep private use within their private property.

Q: What will this look like when it’s done, and how long will construction last?

The City has reviewed 90% designs with the engineers designing the Dike. We will host individual meetings with impacted property owners, a dike walk for anyone interested, and publish online public information to share the final designs and discuss improvements and materials.

This project will deliver a Dike and trial system that improves on the technical function and flood protection, and the aesthetic and accessibility of the park and trail system. There will be public engagement regarding design elements and the special features along the trail system in the future as this project advances.

Q: Why has a boat launch been added to the design?

The 2013 Leisure Service Master Plan included eight recommendations for future development of Fernie’s Annex Park.

Based on these recommendations, the City of Fernie has advanced work on the following improvements:

Recommendation: “Create non-motorized boat launch for kayaks and canoes at the northern end of the Annex Park. Consider vehicle access.”

Action: A boat launch has been incorporated into the 90% design of the Annex Dike Improvements Project.

Recommendation: “Integrate services for festival parking and access from 11th street, including two additional bridges. Consider permanent washroom facilities and water supply.”

Action: In 2019 a pit toilet was installed, and a wider, more robust bridge was constructed.

Recommendation: “Improve picnic area. Incorporate covered picnic shelter for 50 people.”

Action: Construction of the Annex Park Pavilion is set to begin the week of November 1, 2021.

Recommendation: “Formalize the Park as three district zones, and improve trail conditions: integrate primary paved trail, secondary trail with ample seating.”

Action: Design and paving of the dike has been incorporated into the 90% design of the Annex Dike Improvements Project.

Improvements to the Annex Dike are still in the design phase, with 90% of the design complete. 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.

A complete version of the 90% design drawings can be viewed in the 'documents' section of this project page.

Questions or feedback about this project can be directed via email to: operations@fernie.ca

Project Overview

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.

The Annex Dike Project is the City's third major flood mitigation and protection initiative and is valued at $4.975 million.

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

Further enhancements to the project are being funded through a $500,000 provincial Active Transportation grant that will provide paved trails, accessible and inclusive features, and integrate the Annex Park trails with the grant-funded phase 1 of the Fernie Valley Pathway for a combined project value of $7.178 million.

This project represents 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 Goals

This focus of this 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
  • 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


Project Status and Next Steps

The detailed designs for the Annex Dike Project are currently 90% approved.

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


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I purchase or lease land adjacent to the Annex Dike that I have encroached on?

A: In nearly every case, no.

This flood mitigation project is grant funded, and the grant funding may be partially in jeopardy if we start adjusting the dike to suit encroaching property owners.

Despite the impacts to individual properties that encroach, it is unfair to taxpayers to move a very expensive capital investment to avoid encroached areas.

Residents must relocate any structures, landscaping, or fencing within their property lines as originally requested.

The City will not sell land that provides access to dike flood responses and maintenance needs or adjust the dike design to accommodate encroachments.

Q: What happens to fences on my property lines?

Heavy equipment, maintenance crews, and inspectors always require full access to the dike despite this need being intermittent and sometimes not needed for many years. If fences encroach and impede this access, they must be either removed or moved back onto private property. The City will work with individual property owners to determine if it is possible to accommodate requests to keep such fences while ensuring the safety and protection of the public and property.

Q: What is the setback, and will vehicles be driven near my fence?

The setback is the space required by Provincial standards and the Inspector of Dikes for approvals, and for practical reasons such as minimizing costs of construction and ensuring access for inspections and maintenance in the future. This means property owners need to ensure the setback area defined for the Dike is clear and free of any items and that they are not encroaching into this area.

Property lines have been staked as part of this project and property owners should be fully aware of their property boundaries and keep private use within their private property.

Q: What will this look like when it’s done, and how long will construction last?

The City has reviewed 90% designs with the engineers designing the Dike. We will host individual meetings with impacted property owners, a dike walk for anyone interested, and publish online public information to share the final designs and discuss improvements and materials.

This project will deliver a Dike and trial system that improves on the technical function and flood protection, and the aesthetic and accessibility of the park and trail system. There will be public engagement regarding design elements and the special features along the trail system in the future as this project advances.

Q: Why has a boat launch been added to the design?

The 2013 Leisure Service Master Plan included eight recommendations for future development of Fernie’s Annex Park.

Based on these recommendations, the City of Fernie has advanced work on the following improvements:

Recommendation: “Create non-motorized boat launch for kayaks and canoes at the northern end of the Annex Park. Consider vehicle access.”

Action: A boat launch has been incorporated into the 90% design of the Annex Dike Improvements Project.

Recommendation: “Integrate services for festival parking and access from 11th street, including two additional bridges. Consider permanent washroom facilities and water supply.”

Action: In 2019 a pit toilet was installed, and a wider, more robust bridge was constructed.

Recommendation: “Improve picnic area. Incorporate covered picnic shelter for 50 people.”

Action: Construction of the Annex Park Pavilion is set to begin the week of November 1, 2021.

Recommendation: “Formalize the Park as three district zones, and improve trail conditions: integrate primary paved trail, secondary trail with ample seating.”

Action: Design and paving of the dike has been incorporated into the 90% design of the Annex Dike Improvements Project.

Improvements to the Annex Dike are still in the design phase, with 90% of the design complete. 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.

A complete version of the 90% design drawings can be viewed in the 'documents' section of this project page.

Questions or feedback about this project can be directed via email to: operations@fernie.ca

  • November Project Update

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    We have received tremendous feedback on some specific elements of the Annex Dike flood mitigation project and the supporting parks and active transportation projects currently in planning.

    The primary focus of this project is flood mitigation. Our number one goal is to raise the level of the dike to recommended standards to protect homes, businesses, and infrastructure in the Annex in the event of a flood. The structural design of the dike upgrade is complete, with construction to follow in 2022.

    The City has been awarded additional funding to pave the dike and is considering discretionary elements to improve active transportation and recreation options in this area.

    These elements are optional and by no means set in stone at this stage. A first draft of potential enhancements has been drawn; and the City is engaging the community in a number of ways to have before we decide on a final design.

    Discretionary Elements

    The project team is assembling an Advisory Committee to represent the public and provide recommendations on the optional recreational elements to be included in the design. The committee will include a diverse membership, as recommended by council at the regular meeting held on October 12, here: https://fernie.civicweb.net/FileStorage/A5489A54BC0444178F332D3F685A1737-RFD%20Annex%20October%2012%202021.pdf

    These elements could include wellness stations, reset stations, viewing stations, a hand boat launch, and potential parking and other enhancements. The advisory committee will listen to public feedback and work to develop these ideas alongside the project team, which will then be presented to council.

    Why has a boat launch been added to the design? The 2013 Leisure Service Master Plan included eight recommendations for future development of Fernie’s Annex Park. One of the recommendations is to create a non-motorized boat launch for kayaks and canoes at the northern end of the Annex Park, considering vehicle access.

    Based on this recommendation, a hand boat launch was incorporated into the 90% design. Adding this feature to the project creates a safe access point to the river, taking advantage of the construction and environmental permitting window, making it the most appropriate time and location for this enhancement.

    Why has a parking lot been added to the design? The proposed parking lot adjacent to the hand boat launch is an optional element and is being removed from the project. We’ve read a lot of feedback opposing the proposed parking lot favouring maintaining the wooded area as-is. The City appreciates the feedback and wants the community to know that every voice matters. Raising the dike to protect the community will impact on-street parking on the dike side of 12th avenue. The project team will work to develop alternative options for addressing this change.

    As those design options develop, we will continue to inform the public by updating our Let’s Talk project page and bring these ideas to the advisory committee for discussion.

    Consultation Plan

    The City wants to hear your thoughts and plans to engage with the public in a number of ways:

    1. Meet with Annex residents neighbouring the dike to discuss individual property issues such as encroachments and what to expect during construction.
    2. Provide an online information session for the public to attend and participate. More details on this session will be released in the coming weeks.
    3. Assemble an advisory committee to review public feedback, generate ideas for discretionary elements and provide recommendations to the project team, which will be delivered to council.
    4. Provide regular project updates to our Let’s Talk engagement page.
    5. Review feedback so that we can continually improve our designs with your thoughts in mind.


    If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback visit letstalk.fernie.ca or email operations@fernie.ca

Page last updated: 08 December 2021, 15:45