PROVINCE ADDS NEW, ENHANCED AMPHIBEX TO FLOOD-FIGHTING FLEET– – –
Improved Hydraulics, Structural Strength to Increase Icebreaking Capacity: Selinger
“The new Amphibex will replace the original machine and joins the two newest machines that have proven to be good investments in reducing the formation of ice jams by removing or breaking up ice in threatened areas,” said Selinger. “Ice jams are unpredictable, but we know from experience that these machines can make a difference and are an important part of our overall flood-fighting efforts.”
The Amphibex cost $1.2 million including about $60,000 to improve icebreaking capability such as improved structural strength and hydraulics. The new 20-tonne machine will have a dedicated trailer to transport it between assignments.
Before the Amphibex machines take to the ice this spring, ice-cutting machines will be used to make cuts along and across rivers to weaken the ice. The Amphibex will then break a channel to allow ice to move freely.
The current fleet of ice breaking equipment in Manitoba includes:
- three Amphibexes,
- seven ice cutters,
- four Argo amphibious crew-shuttle vehicles, and
- three trailers.
Most recently, Amphibex machines were deployed in the preliminary development of the Lake St. Martin emergency channel last August, helping to clear swampland to establish a foothold for a marina to allow heavy equipment to be moved into the remote area.
The amphibious Amphibex icebreakers are a key part of Manitoba’s ice-jam mitigation strategy, the premier said. The original Amphibex was acquired by North Red Community Water Maintenance Inc. in 2006. That machine will be used by the corporation for dredging and other duties, and will be available if needed for icebreaking. The corporation runs and maintains the equipment, which was acquired with provincial assistance by the rural municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements, and the City of Selkirk. The province purchased more machines in 2009, 2010 and this year.
“The first 2012 flood outlook is being developed now for release in late February,” said Selinger. “We have seen the impact nature can have on our province so it is important to maintain Manitoba’s considerable flood-fighting abilities. Once again we will work with municipalities, refine plans and assess equipment needs to prepare for what may be coming this spring.”
- 30 -