Colwood’s Lookout Brook Dam is being refurbished with $730,370 in provincial funding that will improve its stability and prevent it from failing in an earthquake.
The repairs will also help preserve the surrounding park.
“This project will ensure that people and their properties are better protected while also maintaining Lookout Lake Park as a great place to swim, hike and fish,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, the riding where the dam is located.
The project will also give better protection to municipal services that would potentially be affected by earthquake-related flooding.
Colwood Coun. Gordie Logan applauded the financial support for the dam.
“That really, really is a huge load off the municipal taxpayer,” Logan said.
Steps had to be taken with the dam, he said
“It’s a project that we probably should have done a number of years ago,” he said. “It certainly was an issue for us and we got to the point where we have to do something now.”
Logan said the park isn’t on everyone’s radar.
“It’s like a hidden gem that only certain people know about,” he said.
The dam dates back to 1958, when it was built by a private forestry operation. A 2017 stability assessment determined that it needed upgrades to meet current safety standards.
Money for the dam is coming from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, and is part of over $12 million in provincial emergency-preparedness funding for flood-mitigation initiatives.
Colwood council voted last August to have staff look into repairing the dam.
Among the options that had been put forward were decommissioning the dam and draining the lake, but Colwood Mayor Rob Martin said the community had made it clear it wanted to keep the area intact.
The lake is located in the higher reaches of Triangle Mountain. It is routinely stocked with rainbow trout, thanks to the Freshwater Fisheries Society, part of B.C.’s Fishing in the City Program.