The Sunningdale Creek Hydraulic Improvements are a step closer to being a reality.

Mayor and council have thrown their support behind the application for federal funding through the Natural Infrastructure Fund (NIF). The application was due and submitted yesterday.

The city plans to restore the designed capacity of the Sunningdale Creek by installing new culverts and naturalizing the bank. The work focuses on three in-channel crossings and will reduce the hydraulic grade line during rainfall, which could reduce basement flooding in the Sunningdale area.

"We anticipate this will have a significant improvement to that channel. It will lower the hydraulic grade line, which is a fancy word for how high the water comes, by a metre or more," said Bevan Harlton, Director of Engineering Services. 

Through the NIF application, the city is eligible to receive up to 80 per cent of the total cost of the project, which is pegged at $750,000. Early estimates had the total cost of the project at $460,000.

Councillor Heather Eby asked if the project will proceed if the application for funding is declined, to which Harlton said yes.

"This money has been set aside in the 2022 budget, so we have these funds available to the city. So if we're not awarded [the funding], the work will proceed," added Harlton.

Work could begin as early as this fall, pending approval from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.