The Town of Golden is situated at the confluence of the Columbia and Kicking Horse Rivers. Being located on the floodplain of both rivers brings interesting challenges to our community such as flooding and ice jams. The Town has been committed to protecting our community and residents from river flooding through infrastructure, monitoring and mapping projects.
Kicking Horse River Dike
In 2018, the Town of Golden received the largest single infrastructure-based grant in its history to upgrade the most vulnerable sections of the Kicking Horse River dike.Image
In September 2021, the Kicking Horse River Dike Improvement Project was completed and The River Walk officially opened to the public.
In addition to protecting Golden from the risks of river flooding, the Kicking Horse River Dike Improvement Project has transformed the riverfront space between Golden’s downtown and the Kicking Horse River into The River Walk, a place where residents, visitors and businesses come to work, play and connect.
The Kicking Horse River Dike Improvement Project was funded through the Canada Community-Building Fund as administered by the Union of BC Municipalities and represents the largest infrastructure grant the Town of Golden has ever received at $5.87 million. Over 65 per cent of this amount was allocated for this specific area to construct a flood protection wall, with the rest of the funds used to heighten dikes elsewhere in the community. The beautification component, valued at approximately $1.2 million, was funded through the Province of B.C.’s Resort Municipality Initiative.
In 2022, additional work was completed to raise, reshape and armour remaining earthen dike sections along the Kicking Horse River. This work was 100 per cent grant funded through Emergency Management BC under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP): COVID-19 Resilience Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation stream to reduce and mitigate the risk of flooding.
These projects have upgraded the Kicking Horse River dike in Golden to include the construction of a 300 linear metre floodwall and 1,400 metres of earthen dike improvements.
In 2022, the Town completed repairs to an embankment erosion on Hospital Creek to improve 30 metres of earthen dike along the creek.
The Town of Golden received $425 thousand in provincial funding to develop an Ice Monitoring Program for the Kicking Horse River. The program launched in the winter of 2019.
Ice jams in mountain watersheds are complex and difficult to predict due to the lack of monitoring programs in other mountain communities like Golden. The Ice Monitoring Program is designed for long-term monitoring of ice jams on the Kicking Horse River and may provide early warning of ice jams through remote monitoring of the river upstream of the town. Long-term data will be used to more accurately understand the frequency and severity of ice jams and track how they are affected by climate change.
Nine river cameras, three pressure transducers (a sensor that measures water level and the height of the ice) and one water temperature sensor have been installed along the Kicking Horse River at five monitoring locations in the Town of Golden and one location 10 km east of town as follows:
- Adjacent to the CP Rail Bridge.
- Near the intersection of 9th Street North and Kicking Horse Drive.
- At the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge.
- A temporary station on the highway 95 bridge which will be moved to the dike upgrade area between downtown and the Kicking Horse River once construction of the flood wall is completed.
- Near the east end of 9th Street South.
- Kicking Horse Rest Stop in the canyon.
The information and data collected at each of the monitoring locations will be transmitted back to a central database and computer at Town Hall where changing river conditions can be monitored in real-time. This information can help with emergency response and be made accessible to specialists in river ice hydrology for analysis and advice.
In 2019, the Town received $270 thousand in federal and provincial funding under the National Disaster Mitigation Program to update flood mapping for the community. Floodplain mapping helps increase flood awareness and available information, provides accuracy of flood mapping and risks in the area, provides a basis for flood mitigation priorities, and informs the Town in updating the Floodplain Bylaw.
- 2021 Golden Flood Study Presentation
- 2020 Golden Flood Study and Mapping
The total cost of the project was $273,600 with $135 thousand from the federal government, $135 thousand from the provincial government, and contributions from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Town of Golden and BC Hydro.