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City of Abbotsford receives $250,000 for erosion repairs

The newest erosion arc near the Matsqui dike, before it underwent repairs.  - Alex Butler
The newest erosion arc near the Matsqui dike, before it underwent repairs.
— image credit: Alex Butler

The provincial government is providing $250,000 to the City of Abbotsford to help fund erosion repairs on the Fraser River.

But that funding is only a portion of the $1.5 million originally called for by council to assist in repairing riverbank erosion on the Fraser, which falls under provincial jurisdiction.

After an erosion arc was discovered on the river near Beharrell Road, about 30 metres from the Matsqui dike, city officials raised the alarm that the rapid erosion could compromise the dike with spring flooding.

That land is a part of the Metro Vancouver park system, but a dike breach could impact Matsqui Prairie, the railway and the Abbotsford-Mission Highway.

“The funding will be used to specifically address erosion along the … dike, which has been a concern of mine since I served on city council,” said Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson, who pushed for the funding.

Mayor Bruce Banman said he is thankful for the added funds, as the city had not expected it due to the tight provincial budget.

He said the erosion is "an urgent matter" and the arc repairs are almost complete.

He added that now a long-term solution to dealing with erosion on the Fraser River must be sought.

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