MILL CREEK ROAD BUSINESSES DEMAND GOVERNMENT ACTION OVER CANAL UPKEEP

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

The 20 businesses and one residence located on Mill Creek Road have formed a group and today are hitting out at Government over the blatant lack of action on the Pembroke Canal infrastructure, which continues to go into disrepair and cause serious, sometimes life threatening, flooding on Mill Creek Road.

 

Over the years, the canal has not been able to properly drain the watershed, which is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains from it goes into the same place.[1] When the canal was built, the marsh area reduced the intensity of the water flow and stored excess water when it rained. However, since that time there has been a huge amount of development in Hamilton in combination with infilling. This has increased the rate and volume of storm water runoff, which is brackish, and significantly decreased the naturally occurring storage within the watershed. As a result, this causes heavy flooding throughout Hamilton. The public will be particularly familiar with the flooding on Bakery Lane, Dundonald Street, Bernard’s Park, Woodlands Road and BAA field area.

 

In 2002, the Bermuda Government commissioned Canadian firm Associated Engineering to prepare the Mill Creek Flood Mitigation study, which resulted in a 10-point action plan (see separate attachment). Since that time, it is understood that only one of the recommendations has been undertaken: Government has built a floodbox and upgraded some of the dyke system at the mouth of Mill Creek. However, this dyke system is deficient as a result of varying crest heights of the water, leaks and a lack of tie-in to the high ground. There is still a great deal of work to be undertaken to upgrade the drainage system and pump station. 

 

The Mill Creek Road businesses have been meeting with Government since 2002. Most recently, they met with the Minister of Works & Engineering in July. He had promised a response within two weeks of the meeting with options and pricing. Another letter was sent to the Minister in mid- September restating the group’s desire for communication on the matter and to this day no response has been received.

 

As a result of the severe flooding that occurs every time it rains, the businesses and residence have been impacted as follows:

  • Approximately 500 employees of the Mill Creek businesses cannot arrive or leave work due to flooding that can sometimes be three feet deep
  • Cars of the employees and resident require significantly more maintenance due to the engine damage from the flooding
  • Each business is losing between $13,000 and $40,000 per day on flooding days
  • The disabled resident is confined to his home and cannot leave the area

 

Ed Faries, on behalf of the Mill Creek Road businesses and residence, says: “We have had enough. According to the Act[2], it is the Minister’s responsibility to upkeep the canal. The canal is suffering from a systemic lack of infrastructure upgrades. Many developments have been allowed over the past 10 years such as the expansion of TCD and partial filling in of the canal on Woodlands Road. All of these add to the volume of water entering the canal that cannot escape at high tide. Our livelihoods and the family that lives here are suffering and we need the Government to take urgent action. One business has lost two engines on its truck and just last week, another truck lost its wheel bearings.

 

“We are concerned about the safety of our customers and employees when they try to use the road on flooding days. There are days they cannot get to work and there are days when they have to wait hours for the water to recede to go home. Someone is going to get hurt and it’s a liability for our businesses. Our staff are scared to come to work or to leave work. They can’t drive through deep water.

 

“Mill Creek Road needs an immediate solution. The road could be partially raised where needed about two to three feet as a first step. Government could dig a large water storage area to hold the water back until low tide or install a large pump system, as recommended in the 10-point plan. The drainage system needs to be rebuilt as part of a long-term solution to suit the development that has been allowed over the past 10 or 15 years. It is not just a Mill Creek Road issue. It is a serious engineering challenge that is now beyond urgent. The solutions have already been determined; they just need to be actioned.”

 

-Ends-


[1] The Mill Creek watershed is located between the North Lagoon and Hamilton Harbour with about 20% of the watershed located within the boundaries of the Corporation of Hamilton

[2] Pembroke Marsh Canal Act 1969

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>