The Britannia Shipyards are a National Historic Site in the City of Richmond, British Columbia that commemorate and share the vibrant fishing and oceangoing history of the area. The site is located outside of Richmond’s perimeter flood protection dyke system and residents living near the Britannia Shipyards have observed that the occurrence of major flooding events has increased in frequency in recent years. Recent flooding from the Fraser River has caused deterioration and damage to many of the historic buildings and structures on the site.
Following significant flooding in December 2014 that was the result of a combination of high tide and storm surge, the City of Richmond worked with Dillon Consulting as the lead consultant for the project to investigate the causes of the flooding and identify solutions to address future flooding threats at the site. A number of flood protection concepts were developed in consultation with City staff and the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society. The preferred solution involved flood-proofing the existing perimeter bulkhead wall and raising it by approximately 0.7 m, to an elevation of 2.9 m, through the installation of a vinyl sheet pile wall with wooden cladding to maintain the heritage appearance of the site. For sections of the floodwall that required walkway access to three historic buildings, removable aluminum flood panels were installed for high water events to ensure the wall is water tight throughout.
Construction was completed by Merletti Construction Ltd. as the prime contractor who managed the implementation of the upgraded floodworks on schedule and on budget in a challenging setting where public access had to be maintained at all times and unanticipated subsurface conditions were encountered. Safety of all parties including the public was held as paramount throughout construction and the project was completed without incident.
The City of Richmond is proud of the collaborative work that has gone in effectively addressing the flooding issues while providing a design that was reflective of the important heritage character of the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site.
“Preserving the integrity of this site will help to ensure that this valuable asset is available for future generations to engage with and enjoy.”
- Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia, Award of Merit (Projects under $2.5M), 2019