Fight to stave off Fraser erosion continues

As work to reinforce one erosion arc took place last spring, another problem area developed nearby.

The Fraser River continues to chew into its southernly bank and the Matsqui dike.

The Fraser River is continuing to eat into the bank of the Matsqui dike, even as work is done to stabilize the area.

The City of Abbotsford has put out a new call for proposals to fix a new erosion arc that emerged last spring as crews worked to stop the river from churning into the river’s banks.

There is no specified cost to the project, but a request for proposal (RFP) seeks contractors with experience completing flood protection projects between $500,000 and $2 million. The city says funding for the work has been provided by the Emergency Management BC Flood Mitigation Program.

Last year, work was being done to stabilize land next to an erosion arc – a land feature that forms when a river’s bank is being eroded by a current – when a “mass movement event” saw a new arc develop within the space of just a couple hours on April 14.

The city worked to stabilize the adjacent bank, but those efforts ended in late April as river levels rose. The city is now seeking bids from a private contractor to place riprap – loose stone that forms a breakwater – at the site to limit future erosion.

The city hopes to see construction start in mid-January and wrap up in mid-March, subject to obtaining provincial and federal approvals.

The project is in addition to an eight-year $8 million to $10 million plan to build rock spurs under the Fraser River’s water to redirect the current’s flow. In April, the province announced it would contribute $4 million toward the project. Funding for such work must come from senior levels of government.