Fort St. John studying Old Fort, Fish Creek slopes for stability

The City of Fort St. John has hired a Vancouver engineering firm to undertake a study of slope stability around Old Fort and Fish Creek to get a sense of the future risks to civic infrastructure.

BGC Engineering will carry out the work at a budget of $200,000, and scheduled to be completed by November. It comes after the Old Fort landslide in September 2018, which forced more than 150 people to leave their homes in the Old Fort community for more than a month.

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"This study will give the City a solid baseline on which to base future slope analysis studies, plus help identify areas where further geotechnical study will need to occur prior to any development, and identify future potential capital improvements related to City infrastructure," Victor Shopland, the city's director of integrated services, wrote in a report to council.

The Old Fort landslide set off more than eight million cubic metres of earth and trees in a slow-slide toward the Peace River, destroying one house, power lines, and the only road in and out of the community.

No city infrastructure was directly affected or destroyed. However, the city's micro-hydro station in Old Fort, which generates power using treated municipal wastewater, had to be shut down because of the downed power lines.

BGC will study slop stability around city infrastructure, including the discharge lines from the north and south sewage lagoons, the city's raw water supply main just upstream of Old Fort, and storm water discharges, including the Buffioux coulee. It will also study slopes adjacent to developed lands, or those that could be developed in they future, including around the south lagoons.

Three companies bid for the work, including Thurber Engineering of Edmonton, and the Fort St. John branch of SNC Lavalin. BGC Engineering scored the highest in its response to the city's request for proposals, according to Shopland's report.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at

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