Winnipeg's 'Big Dig' Honored

<p>The Red River Floodway, built in the 1960s to protect the City of Winnipeg from flooding, has been named by the International Association of Macro Engineering Societies as one of the engineering wonders of the world.</p>
July 7, 2008, 10am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Winnipeggers like to refer to it as a ditch but, to the international engineering community, the Winnipeg floodway is one of the engineering wonders of the world.

On Friday, the International Association of Macro Engineering Societies (IAMES) officially recognized the floodway as one of the 16 engineering achievements that shaped the world since biblical times to the present. The prestigious Boston-based organization has been monitoring the floodway and the expansion project for many years.

The floodway ranks in engineering significance with projects like the Three Gorges Dam in China, the Eiffel Tower, the Channel Tunnel and accomplishments like landing the first man on the moon.

The original floodway was built between 1963 and 1968 for about $63 million. Construction involved moving more than 60 million cubic feet of earth, more than was moved for construction of the Suez Canal. Since then it the floodway been used to divert flood waters from the Red River more than 20 times and it is estimated that it has prevented more than $10 billion in potential flood damage.

The current $665-million floodway expansion will move an additional 25 million cubic feet and provide a one-in-700-year level of flood protection."

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Published on Saturday, July 5, 2008 in The Winnipeg Free Press
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