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Lafarge contributes to Bighorn project

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Designed to protect people and property from the effects of a natural disaster, mitigations for Exshaw Creek are underway in the municipal district (MD) of Bighorn. Construction of the CAN$10.3 million project began on 1 April 2019, and work is expected to be completed by October. Final touches, including landscaping, will be done in the Spring of 2020.

Designed for a one in 500 year event, construction includes a debris retention structure to minimise the amount of fallen trees reaching Highway 1A. The creek channel will be widened and deepened to contain flood waters. A sediment basin will be excavated to collect debris to minimise potential blockage to bridge crossings at Highway 1A, CP Railway, and Diamond Drive. An overflow weir and outlet channel will be constructed to direct the flood waters to the Bow River. The MD of Bighorn awarded the contract to Devcon Inc. and construction will be on hold during the spring runoff.

Over 58 000 t of riprap stone, a year supply of production, is being provided by Lafarge to help reinforce the banks of Exshaw Creek. Lafarge is also providing 3.2 ha. of land, including 1.6 ha. of privately-owned land and 1.6 ha. of crown land that is leased by the cement plant. The total value of Lafarge’s contribution is CAN$3.7 million.

The federal government is providing CAN$1.9 million to the flood mitigation project through Infrastructure Canada, as part of a larger plan to reduce floor risk across the province. The Government of Alberta has committed CAN$3.3 million.

“This is a robust response to the flooding of 2013,” said Reeve Dene Cooper. “There has been a lot of work done upfront, from design to securing the safety of the Exshaw community from unprecedented and unexpected flooding.”

“As a partner with the municipality, Lafarge stepped up with its contribution of riprap stone and land to ensure this project is economically feasible for the MD and protects the residents of Exshaw,” said Councillor Paul Ryan.

“This initiative shows the MD of Bighorn and Lafarge working together to make sure we can come up with the best solution for the community and for the plant,” said Kate Strachan, Manager of the Lafarge Exshaw cement plant. “Many of our employees were at the plant, separated from their families by the flood. Despite personal worries, they worked tirelessly for the good of the entire community, ferrying load after load of boulders, placing rock to prevent further damage, and excavating the creek bed to stop further erosion. This project benefits the community and also helps protect out plant’s creek side property from any future flooding.”

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Cement news 2018