OTTAWA -- Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says construction will begin soon to help salmon pass through a section of British Columbia's Fraser River that was largely closed by a landslide.

The federal contract posted online Monday awards $17.6 million to Peter Kiewit Sons ULC for work on the landslide near Big Bar while there is a low water flow on the river.

The slide sparked a co-ordinated emergency response from multiple levels of government and local First Nations after it was discovered in June northwest of Kamloops.

The federal government said in procurement documents in November that the work had to happen during the first available period of low water flows between December and March, although the contract was not awarded until Dec. 31.

A request for information from industry about construction and environmental remediation said the situation is urgent and several Pacific salmon species could face extinction as a result of the slide.

Jordan said in a statement that she plans to visit the site this week and will make an announcement on next steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of key salmon runs.