Sudbury

For the first time in years, Jumbo Creek hasn't flooded Highway 537 in Wanup

For the first time in perhaps decades, there was no flooding along Jumbo Creek in the Wanup area of Greater Sudbury this spring.

$1.92 million provincial construction project expected to wrap up this summer

The raised roadbed on Highway 537 is now lifted away from Jumbo Creek, which meant no road closures this spring for the first time in years. (Erik White/CBC )

For the first time in perhaps decades, there was no flooding along Jumbo Creek in the Wanup area of Greater Sudbury this spring.

Every year like clockwork the creek spills over and closes Highway 537.

The province began construction on a permanent fix last summer and it lifted up the roadway enough to avoid the annual flood this spring.

"So, yep, we're still high and dry," says Andy McClellan, who has lived in the Wanup area for about 15 years.  

"It's something that's not there and when it's not there, people just plain don't notice it."

They might have also not noticed it, because they've been staying home during the pandemic. 

Sudbury city councillor Deb McIntosh, who has pushed for the improvements since she was first elected to represent Ward 9, has noticed the lack of calls about the road closures.

"It is so weird," she says.

"That was wonderful news. It's funny something not happening should have been celebrated after all these years of that creek flooding."

Sudbury city councillor Deb McIntosh stands by flooding on Highway 537 in Wanup which is now fixed after years of lobbying the provincial government to spend $1.92 million on the rural road. (Erik White/CBC )

McIntosh didn't expect the lifting up of the road bed last summer to have this kind of immediate impact. 

The $1.92 million construction project, paid for by the provincial government, is expected to wrap up later this summer.

She says it's a good example of the "slow and steady" progress of government and a counter argument to the nay-sayers she often sees on social media. 

"That kind of attitude of 'oh yeah, yeah it's all talk.' But look, it didn't flood. That's just so amazing," says McIntosh. 

"And hopefully we'll never have to take that detour around Jumbo Creek again."

About the Author

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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