Soil contamination pushes cost of mitigating Kidd’s Creek flooding up $2.8 million

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Soil contamination is driving up the cost of mitigating flooding on Dunlop Street West between Toronto and Eccles streets by $2.8 million, according to a memo to general committee.
The additional funds comes after a soil analysis was conducted once the City gained access to the High Street property being acquired for the project, which found benzene, lead, and mercury contamination.
“These soils would be removed from the site as part of the creek daylighting following set provincial protocols for contaminated soil removal and disposal,” writes Araniyasundaran.
“When the 2019 capital budget was developed in 2018, the estimate” didn’t include the new expenses “as the information was not available at that stage due to lack of access to the site.”
Total cost of the project now sits at $12,925,600 million, states the memo from Bala Araniyasundaran, director of engineering. The matter came before council on Monday (April 29) for approval. The money was to come from a $3,467,473 increase from the Federal Gas Tax and a $667,473 decrease from the Tax Capital Reserve. 
The additional funds, writes Araniyasundaran in the memo, is to “ensure storm drainage works can be completed as soon as possible to reduce/eliminate flooding and to comply with the timelines associated with the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) grant.”
The project is to reduce flooding from Kidd’s Creek, which starts near Cundles Road and flows through Sunnidale Park to Kempenfelt Bay. Much of the culvert/channel system along the creek’s path is undersized resulting in regular flooding, says Araniyasundaran.
The Kidd’s Creek Master Drainage Plan details a number of scenarios to mitigate flooding, with the progression of the work to be generally from downstream to upstream.
“The section of Kidd’s Creek from Bradford Street to Eccles Street is the next logical section to be addressed. In addition to being in an area at high risk of flooding, this work is also required to facilitate future flood mitigation work further upstream.”
The master plan recommended that 36-38 High Street (southwest corner of High and Bradford) be purchased to construct a channel that could handle a 100-year storm, and, writes Araniyasundaran, the City is “currently in the process of expropriating” the property for the creek realignment.
To reduce flooding, the City and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority worked together to find a solution.
“The preferred solution is to implement an open channel designed to contain the regulatory flow. This regulatory flow is based on the Hurricane Hazel storm and is greater than the 100-year storm event. This channel would then discharge into the extended 100-year culvert at Bradford Street with flows above the 100-year level overtopping the roadway and continuing overland.
“The open watercourse solution also has significant environmental and cost benefits over the proposed pipe and culvert upgrade option recommended in the original Master Plan.”
The project to realign the creek was included in the 2019/20 capital budget. The original budget of $10,125,600 is funded by $5,349,900 from the tax capital reserve, $320,400 from the wastewater capital reserve, $255,300 from the water capital reserve, and $3 million from a National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP).