Even a stream as benign as Joseph Creek can display the considerable power of water on surrounding features.
The City of Cranbrook has been working to fix an erosion problem at the corner of 15th Avenue South and 4th Street South, where a change in the creek’s current as it passes under 4th Street has compromised the section of retaining wall alongside Rotary Way.
Les Hunter, Public Works Supervisor with the City of Cranbrook, said a willow tree trunk that was coming across the creek began directing the flow of water at the retaining wall.
“The wall has been in place for about six years,” Hunter said. “And the tree must have moved, or shifted, and the creek current got underneath the blocks.”
He said the current had dug a hole about four feet deep this year.
The City removed the tree in question, but a section of the retaining wall is still out of place. The City had to go through the Water Stewardship Branch of the Ministry of Environment to get a permit to do the work. And the next step is to fix the wall, but that work must wait until August. In a fish-bearing creek, Ministry regulations only allow for a certain time window, generally a couple of weeks in August, for such work to be done. According to Ministry regulations, to do work in a body of water such as Joseph Creek, one must have a plan drawn up by an environmental engineer.
“We’ll be working with the engineers we have on contract — Urban Systems — to get the permit that’s required, and rebuild the wall,” Hunter said.
There is some similar erosion issues with Joseph Creek in behind Save-On Foods. Hunter said similar work will be taking place to fix the situation there.