Engineering Services Awarded for Initial Phase of the Horsefly Emergency Regional Spillway Project

For Immediate Release


Engineering Services Awarded for Initial Phase of the
Horsefly Emergency Regional Spillway Project

January 26, 2021

TABER, AB – The Municipal District (MD) of Taber Council, on behalf of the Southern Regional Stormwater Drainage Committee (SRSDC) has taken the next step in securing an engineering consultant for Phase 1 of the Horsefly Emergency Regional Spillway Project.  

During a council meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, the MD of Taber passed a motion awarding the contract to MPE Engineering Ltd and Stantec Consulting Ltd who submitted a joint proposal to provide engineering services for the design, engineering, construction supervision and for obtaining regulatory approvals for the project. 

“MPE and Stantec are pleased to have been awarded the engineering for this exciting and vital project,” says Ron Hust, Vice President of Water Resources at MPE Engineering Ltd. “The recent flooding events in southern Alberta have shown that this project is required to help alleviate damages caused by runoff events. Our team brings together a blend of local experience and global knowledge to ensure a sound design that will protect the area and environment from flood damage. MPE has been involved with the project since its inception in 2014 and cannot wait to see construction start.”

On January 18, 2021, six of the SRSDC partners – The Town of Coaldale, the Town of Taber, County of Forty Mile, County of Lethbridge, St Mary River Irrigation District (SMRID), and the MD of Taber – formed a technical committee to rate and rank qualified proponents and to provide final recommendations to the main drainage committee. The request was then submitted to the MD of Taber Council for the final decision on Tuesday.

"We all recognize the importance in controlling stormwater drainage to prevent damage to homes and infrastructure,” explains Gary Franz, co-chair of the SRSDC. “In addition, southern Alberta has proven itself as a leader in Canada's Agri-Food Processing Sector. The extra layer of water security the Horsefly Spillway provides will enable continued diversified investment in agriculture and food processing. I am extremely happy to see this project moving forward." 

Total cost for Phase 1 has been estimated at just over $22 million. Contributions include $7.4 million through the Alberta Communities Resiliency Program (ACRP) Fund by the Province of Alberta and $8.8 million through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) by the Government of Canada. Municipal partners are responsible for funding the remainder while the SMRID and Taber Irrigation District (TID) have committed to the acquisition of required land for the project.

“We are pleased that with collaboration and shared funding, this integrated irrigation and stormwater system will help our regional partners and our high-value irrigation sector manage extreme flood risks together,” states Chris Gallagher, District Manager of the TID.

Phase 1 components include 5.65 km of channel enlargement to existing TID canals to drain and connect Taber Lake to the Oldman River. Major structures include a concrete chute spillway structure into the Oldman River, and two gated water control structures (downstream of Taber Lake) to control flow into the spillway and TID's Big Bend Canal. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2022.

“Getting the engineering consultants in place to begin the task of designing this project is a big step for the SRSDC,” says Reeve Merrill Harris, co-chair of the SRSDC. “All of our regional partners were unanimous in our selection of MPE and Stantec for engineering services and momentum is building to get shovels in the ground in 2022.”