The City of Penticton is providing an early heads up to residents and businesses near a section of Penticton Creek for which restoration work is scheduled to be undertaken in 2022, starting with preparatory work this spring and continuing through the summer and fall.
The portion of the creek running between Nanaimo Avenue and the intersection of Norton Street and Wade Avenue E. is scheduled to undergo environmental improvements to support the City’s plan of returning Penticton Creek to a natural state while still maintaining effective flood protection during periods of heavy water flow. For 2022, residents, businesses and commuters in the area should expect to see the following:
- Removal of undergrowth and some trees that interfere with the creek’s rehabilitation – late March, early April
- Alterations to the bus routes along Nanaimo Avenue – mid June
- Removal of the Nanaimo Street Bridge – early July
- Closing of the creek side walkway which will be disturbed during restoration – mid/late July
- Detouring pedestrians around Wade Avenue – mid/late July
- Creation of laydown areas for material on nearby roads and lanes – mid July
Actual work in the creek itself will take place during the annual fish window, typically in late July, and will involve redirecting the creek, removing concrete, undertaking earthworks and installing river rock.
The project concludes with water flow restored in the creek, replacement of the creek side walkway and installation of trees and other planting materials. Completion is estimated for the end of October, with some tree planting delayed to spring 2023 if weather is poor or planting material is unavailable.
Letters containing additional details about the project are scheduled to be sent to residents and businesses alongside or near the creek over the next week or so.
“As with all projects that cause disruptions to residents and commuters, the City thanks all parties for their patience while work is carried out,” said the City’s Special Projects Manager, Ian Chapman. “Like our past restoration work along Penticton Creek, this year’s project continues to build on the City’s vision to restore this waterway to a natural and healthy state. All work conducted will follow the strict requirements of Provincial and Federal legislation and will include continued and thorough consultation with our PIB neighbours.”
In the 1950s, the Penticton Creek was ‘channelized’ in response to flooding that devastated Penticton’s downtown. While the installed concrete channel helped with flood management, native fish species struggled with the loss of natural creek habitat and populations dropped. Over time, the concrete channel deteriorated. In 2012, the community identified the restoration of the creek as a priority for the Downtown Plan and in 2018, Council approved a plan to restore the creek in several phases over many years at an estimated cost of $30 million. Two channelized sections of the creek have already been restored between Ellis Street and Nanaimo Avenue.