The Red River Floodway is an artificial flood control waterway in Western Canada, first used in 1969. It is a 47 km (29 mile) long channel which, during flood periods, takes part of the Red River's flow around the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba to the east and discharges it back into the Red River below the dam at Lockport. It can carry floodwater at a rate of up to 2,550 cubic metres (91,700 cubic feet) per second. It was built partly in response to the disastrous 1950 Red River flood.
The Floodway was pejoratively nicknamed "Duff's Ditch" by opponents of its construction, after Premier Duff Roblin, whose Progressive Conservative government initiated the project. It was completed in time and under budget. Subsequent events have vindicated the plan. Used over 20 times in the 37 years from its completion to 2006, the Floodway has saved an estimated $10 billion (CAD) in flood damages. The "Duff's Ditch" term is still used affectionately.
By kjfitz @ 2010-08-04 14:05:00