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Road damaged by November 2021 storm reopens in North Saanich

New culvert also promises to improve salmon returns
Chalet Road, here seen damaged in November 2021, reopened on Nov. 1. (File photo courtesy of David Tonken)

A North Saanich road damaged by last year’s flooding is now open once again.

Chalet Road near Deep Cove Chalet and Deep Cove Winery re-opened to the public on Nov. 1 after heavy rains had damaged the road and its culvert in mid-November 2021.

The municipality said in a release that it approached the reconstruction as an opportunity to improve the fish-bearing environment of Chalet Creek from the culvert downstream to the high tide mark.

“The District has installed an open arch culvert that supports the natural stream bed throughout and fish passage in all creek flow conditions,” it reads. “The design has a high level of climate resiliency in handling larger flows.”

Staff added later that the open arch culvert design incorporates a high level of climate resiliency in terms of capacity to handle storm flows. “The culvert is designed to pass a 200-year storm event, is fish friendly as it incorporates the natural stream bed throughout and has increased capacity to pass debris flows,” it reads. “The roadway embankment has been fortified with geotextile which offers additional resistance to extreme events.”

Peninsula Streams and Shoreline Society predicts the restoration work will yield larger returns of salmon.

RELATED: UPDATE: Chalet Road damaged as municipal crews tackle flooding across Saanich Peninsula

RELATED: North Saanich’s Chalet Creek getting a fish-focused atmospheric river repair job

North Saanich also worked with an archeological consultant and Tseycum First Nation to monitor portions of work as the area of construction falls within a registered archeological site.

Northridge Excavating Ltd. were granted the contract, with an initial budget of $583,000 but costs rose due to unforeseen conditions to around $635,000, according to staff. The project fell within the provincial disaster financial assistance program, covering 90 per cent of eligible costs.

Mayor Geoff Orr, who decided against running in the last municipal election, said in the release that the municipality is pleased to see this important section of Chalet Road reopen to the public and local residents.

The fish habitat restoration will serve as a critical component of native fish spawning success for many years to come,” said Orr in the statement. “We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the partners who worked collaboratively to see this project through to completion, HISWKE.”

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