The City of Moose Jaw is keeping a close eye on slope stabilities around river banks before they become geohazards. 

The city completed its first slope monitoring program in 2021, which identified 47 locations of concern, mainly near the banks of the Moose Jaw River, Thunder Creek and Spring Creek. 

Of those locations, 24 locations were considered low or very low risk, 12 were medium risk, 11 were high risk and none were very high risk that would have needed immediate attention. 

Four of the 11 high risk locations are considered high priority. These are just south of Grandview Street West, the 800 block of Skipton Road, Wellesley Street East and near Aldergate Street and Seventh Avenue Southeast. 

The city has awarded the contract to AECOM Canada Ltd. to monitor these locations in 2022 and 2023. 

Director of Engineering Services Bevin Harlton explained what will happen after 2023. 

“I can see at the end of 2023 a couple of things happening, recommendations for remediation and estimates going into construction as required, but also on the other end I think that some of these 47 locations will go away and we'll see that there isn't actually movement there at this time,” Harlton said. 

“Since this is a program that's been long dormant, the recommendation and the scope work here is to include all locations, regardless of risk.” 

AECOM Canada will cost the city about $355,000 in 2022 and $171,000 in 2023. It will be funded through $135,000 in carryover from 2021 in the Slumping Strategy account, $300,000 from the 2022 budgeted amount for the slope monitoring program and $260,000 from the proposed 2023 budget for the slope monitoring program. 

“This budget amount is purely for the monetary monitoring budget, and it's not any remediation included in this amount. So, when it comes time to do any work, that's a totally different budget item,” said Coun. Heather Eby. 

When asked by Coun. Doug Blanc if there was any chance to partner with stakeholders for the cost of any remediation if needed, Harlton said it is too early to tell. 

“What I think we would do there is better understand what the risks are and when it comes to a point where remediation is required, at that time, we look at the specific location, see who our stakeholders are, and take it from there,” he said.