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Friday February 24th, 2012

Posted at 10:15am

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Designed for a major rainfall event such as 1954’s Hurricane Hazel, the Grand Marais Drain (often known as the Grand Marais Ditch) is in need of repairs and has been identified by the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA), Landmark Engineers and the City of Windsor as “oversized”.

In 2010, ERCA commissioned a study aimed at “identifying alternative channel designs for an improved Grand Marais Drain with an emphasis on establishing a more sustainable, ecologically desirable and aesthetically-pleasing flood control channel”.

At a public information open house held Thursday night, engineers from Landmark presented a plan to reconstruct, repair and modify the ditch into a visually appealing and pedestrian friendly storm-watercourse for South Windsor.

After major rainfalls such as a storm last November, data from sensors inside the drain indicated that the deep ditch structure could only be so effective in reducing basement flooding in the South Windsor area and that the problem existed with “sanitary” sewers and not stormwater sewers that flow into the drain.

Proposed changes for the drain include varying design elements along the ditch’s length such as greened walls, box-culvert sections with pedestrian and cyclist access above and parkland area.

The redesign process is still in its public consultation phase, and the engineers will be looking for feedback from the community before they present a final recommendation at an open house on March 20th.

For more information, visit the project website.

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