I have reviewed Urban Systems report Bridge-to-Bridge which is positioned as a Project Justification / Business Case. It appears that Urban Systems billed the town some $70,322 for this report with an additional $29,960.75 paid to Matrix Solutions Inc.
I understand that Urban Systems has had a 15 year ‘relationship’ with the Town of Golden.
During this period it is not clear how often Urban Systems was the sole service provider without any competitive bidding.
As a former consultant, used to writing proposals in response to Requests for Proposals, in my opinion, much of the ‘information’ provided in this report is general knowledge that one would expect a qualified consultant to include in a proposal to demonstrate that they fully understand the problem to be addressed in subsequent consulting work.
It is more difficult to assess the associated four-page report by Matrix Solutions purporting to be a Hydrotechnical Assessment, as no information is provided on the details of the hydraulic modelling, assumptions employed etc.
As someone who used to do hydraulic modelling in the 1980s, $29,000 should be able to buy an awful lot of modelling.
I question whether the Town and the ratepayers are receiving real value for the funds expaended?
In the longer term, it makes eminent sense to address the issue of the dykes and risk of flooding but if one is serious about estimating flood levels on the Kicking Horse, then one has to consider the effect of water levels in the Columbia River in combination with the impact of gravel transport and deposition.
This would require some fairly sophisticated hydraulic modelling and considerable expertise, not found in most engineering firms.
Estimating gravel bed transport is a very tricky challenge, however the amount of sediment transported through the canyon and deposited in the lower reach through the townsite is very significant.
The importance of removing gravel on a regular basis from the townsite reach cannot be overstated; the alternative is to be continually raising the elevation of the dykes to provide enough freeboard as the river deposits sediment in the lower reach.
David P. Jones, M.Sc., MBA