LIVING> West Quesnel Land Stability
A large ancient landslide underlies a significant area of West Quesnel. Ground movement has been occurring over a long period of time. The rate of movement has been slow, and is somewhat dependent on annual precipitation and snowmelt conditions.
Phase II Program (2016/2017)
Phase II includes four additional pump wells and four additional horizontal drain locations, the main focus of this project is surface water control in the form of storm water upgrades.
New or upgraded storm water systems will be installed on:
The above noted streets will also be rebuilt including new asphalt, curbs
and existing sidewalks replaced.
Along with the storm water upgrades is a new storm water treatment and infiltration area being constructed near the Elks Lodge on Anderson Dr. This three acre site will serve as a staging area for the project and will be re-shaped with all excess materials from this project. The end results will be a large landscaped swale area through the site to allow for infiltration during low flow events with an overland route to Baker Creek to accommodate high flow events. Provisions will be made for permanent pedestrian access in this area and maintenance access to the stormceptor treatment unit at the west end of the site.
An existing storm water infiltration area at the end of Healy St. will be
further utilized as all storm water from Lewis Dr. above Healy St. will be
diverted into this area.
It is important to note that both infiltration areas are outside of the slide area.
In 2015, the City received $4,850,102 in funding through the New Building Canada Fund for Phase II of the WQLS Project. The City is contributing the remaining amount of $2,425,053 bring the total estimated cost of the Phase II Project to $7,275,155.
The City has also budgeted $1,200,000 for additional road works, sidewalks, and curbing to allow for complete rebuilding of streets and sidewalks impacted by this storm water project.
Results of the West Quesnel Land Stability Program to Date
The engineering work to date has provided the following key findings:
Impacts of the Ground Movement
Impacts on homes and other structures are varied. Some buildings have not been impacted because the slide is very deep and the ground around them moves uniformly. Buildings in other locations have sustained significant damage, including ongoing deformation resulting in structural cracks.
Ongoing ground movement has caused slow deformation which results in broken pipes and damage to roadways. The City has experienced frequent breaks in water and sewer pipes over the past number of years, all requiring expensive repairs.
FortisBC (then BC Gas), the principal underground utility in West Quesnel, replaced its steel piping system with a flexible polyethylene piping system in 2000 at a cost of $2 million.
Rationale for the West Quesnel Land Stability Program
West Quesnel is a desirable place to live and essential to the future of the City of Quesnel . The benefits to be achieved include:
The West Quesnel situation is not unique. Other communities have faced similar challenges with land movement and have been successful in slowing the movement to manageable levels. The solutions are expensive; therefore the City is proceeding carefully to choose the options that will produce the best results.
The initial development of the West Quesnel area occurred under provincial jurisdiction with subdivision approvals granted by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.
The area was amalgamated into the Town of Quesnel and later the City of Quesnel starting with a small area in 1955. Additional areas were incorporated into the municipality in several increments. The most substantial amalgamations occurred in 1970 and 1975.
A large portion of the residential development occurred in a sustained growth period during the 1970s. Voyageur Elementary School was built in 1974.
West Quesnel has been the subject of a number of engineering investigations. Initial work done by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1973 did not specifically address the area nor indicate a ground movement concern. Subsequent studies in the 1990s were inconclusive. Ground movement in West Quesnel was first conclusively proven in engineering work commissioned by the City in 2000-2002.
In 2003-2005 the City commissioned additional geotechnical and hydro-geotechnical work to outline the boundaries of the area impacted, the extent of movement and to provide guidance on remediation strategies.
The 2006 Work Plan was developed to expand on the knowledge gained in past years in order to ensure that the proposed mitigation measures were properly designed to achieve the best possible results for the money invested.
The completion of that work plan led to the development of a trial dewatering program, conducted in late 2007 and the spring of 2008.
The results of the trial dewatering program led to the design of a full-scale dewatering program in late 2008 and early 2009.
The West Quesnel Land Stability Program continues to be the highest priority for the City. The City is committed to implementing appropriate solutions.
Contact and Location
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)