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Posted on: March 18, 2020

Heart Creek Flood Mitigation Project

June 8, 2020



Date: June 8, 2020

Time: 11:00 AM MST

Subject: Heart Creek flood mitigation project commences

The Municipal District of Bighorn announced today that after several years of planning and obtaining government approvals, the Heart Creek flood mitigation project has commenced.  The flood mitigation is designed to protect the hamlet of Lac Des Arcs and the Trans Canada Highway from debris floods with a return period of up to 300 years.

The $2.5 million project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund, the Alberta Community Resilience Program, and the MD of Bighorn. “A small municipality like ours would not be able to undertake a project of this size without the financial assistance of the federal and provincial governments,” said Reeve Dene Cooper. “We are very grateful for their contributions.”

“We are making historic investments in infrastructure that makes communities such as Bighorn more resilient to flooding. I am pleased to be a partner in this important flood protection project and look forward to continue working together to create jobs, build a better, more  prosperous, and more resilient Alberta and Canada,” said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

The public tender for the project was awarded to local contractor Bow Kor Excavating Ltd. The project will provide a significant boost to the local economy, with Bow Kor employees and subcontractors working together to complete the project over the next several months.

As the owner of the project, the MD of Bighorn is breathing a sigh of relief knowing its residents, as well as highway infrastructure, will soon be protected from Heart Creek debris floods. “We don’t know when the next flood will be, but we do know there will be more floods,” said Reeve Cooper. In the 2013 flood, several Lac Des Arcs properties were destroyed and many more were damaged from a combination of flooding in Heart Creek and the Bow River.

In 2019, the MD of Bighorn completed the Exshaw Creek Debris Flood Mitigation project, which now protects Exshaw residents, the Lafarge cement plant, as well as railway and road infrastructure from debris floods. “We still have a couple more creeks that require flood mitigation. Jura Creek is our next priority,” said Doug Fulford, the MD’s Director of Flood Recovery. “We are currently trying to secure funding to complete Jura Creek as soon as possible.”

Heart Mountain scramblers and Heart Creek trail users will need to park at the official Heart Creek trailhead for the duration of the project. “There has been a tendency for Heart Creek trail users to park in the ditch beside the Trans Canada Highway,” noted Fulford. “For safety reasons, parking in the ditch will not be permitted for the duration of the project.”

The Heart Creek project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

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For more information contact:

Dene Cooper, Reeve or Doug Fulford, Director of Flood Recovery

Municipal District of Bighorn
2 Heart Mtn. Drive
Exshaw, AB TOL 2C0     403-673-3611     403-493-0314

March 18, 2020- Tree and brush clearing for the Heart Creek flood mitigation project will be starting the week of March 23rd, 2020. We apologize for having to cancel the public information session, but virus containment is obviously the priority. We intend to proceed with the project as planned, unless the current situation demands that we stop all work. Updates will be posted regularly to the MD website. 


Questions regarding the project should be directed to:

Doug Fulford

Director of Flood Recovery

MD of Bighorn


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