Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Flood Mitigation: taking steps to build resiliency

With recent news stories about the devastating floods in Houston and in Cache Creek, BC, building flood resiliency in Calgary is a timely topic that The City continues to address.  

Elbow River Bridge Construction, Fall 2014
Although almost two years have passed since the June 2013 Flood, for many Calgarians building flood resiliency remains important. Results from the 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey indicate that 93 per cent of Calgarians believe that The City should invest more or the same in providing protection from river flooding. And, that is what The City is working towards.  

For Calgary and Calgarians, building flood resiliency means increasing our ability to quickly recover from a flood event, as well as taking preventative measures that will help to mitigate flooding in future. Over the past two years, more than 200 repair or restoration projects have been identified to contribute to Calgary’s flood resiliency.

“The Citizen Satisfaction Survey told us that 85 per cent of Calgarians believe protection from river flooding is important,” says Carolyn Bowen, Program Manager, Flood Resiliency and Mitigation. “We are taking a comprehensive and collaborative approach to implementing the most effective combination of solutions to mitigate the impacts of flooding in our city.”

Some of the key steps The City has taken to improve flood resiliency to date include: 
  • Strengthening our understanding of river flooding by improving river monitoring stations, river level forecasting and flood inundation mapping.
  • Securing $14.89 million in funding for four projects through the Province’s Alberta Community Resilience Program.
  • Restoring and reinforcing 19 critical and high priority areas, including bridges and riverbanks, to make them more resilient to flooding.
  • Delivering flood recovery and preparedness presentations to 6,000 citizens and developing flood readiness information and tools, now available at
In July 2013 The City of Calgary created an Expert Management Panel to steer The City’s River Flood Mitigation Program. The Expert Management Panel developed a report that included 27 recommendations to achieve a safer, more flood resilient city. To view the Panel’s recommendations and the progress The City has made on them, to date, you can download the Flood Resiliency and Mitigation 2014 Annual Report

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fair Entry: A streamlined application process for subsidy programs

We are launching a new application process for City-subsidized programs and services. The new process, called Fair Entry, will assess your eligibility for five City programs with a single application. 

This new approach has several benefits. You may qualify for, and be told about, programs and services which you were not aware of previously. You will only have to explain your current financial situation once and the streamline process and makes it more convenient to access more than one program. 

With one application you can now be assessed for these five programs:
  1. Property Tax Assistance
  2. No Cost Spay/Neuter
  3. Recreation
  4. Calgary Transit low-Income Passes
  5. Low-income seniors programs  

Two locations have been opened where you can apply in person:
  • Village Square Library: 2623 56 St N.E. 
  • Municipal Building: 3rd floor, 800 MacLeod Trail S.E.  
To learn more about the Fair Entry program, download an application form or find additional ways to apply, visit

Submitted by Peter Jacoby, Community & Neighbourhood Services

First Anniversary of Calgary’s Airport Trail Tunnel

The six-lane Airport Trail tunnel, under Calgary's new airport runway, officially opened to traffic on May 25, 2014 - making yesterday its one year anniversary!

“The Airport Trail tunnel is a critical piece of infrastructure that connects people, goods, and services locally, regionally, and globally,” said Michael Thompson, The City’s Director of Transportation Infrastructure. “It serves as a vital east-west corridor for Calgary that benefits all Calgarians.”

The project included extending Airport Trail from Barlow Trail to 36 Street N.E. as a six-lane roadway, and widening Airport Trail between Deerfoot Trail and Barlow Trail from four to six lanes. The tunnel provides an alternate route to-and-from the airport and will ultimately link Stony Trail East all the way to Centre Street.

“The most recent traffic volume counts show that over 13,000 vehicles use the tunnel daily,” Thompson added. “This will only increase in the future as the road network is expanded and the northeast quadrant of the city develops.”

The City worked closely with the Airport Authority during the construction of the tunnel and the Authority’s runway development project. This cooperation enabled The City to meet the critical milestone dates needed by the Airport Authority to complete its runway expansion program without delay.

Some interesting tunnel facts:
  • The tunnel is 620 metres long, 36 metres wide and has a vehicle clearance of 5.3 metres.
  • During tunnel construction over 600,000 cubic metres of earth and rock was excavated.
  • A total of 58,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured during the construction of the tunnel.
  • Approximately 45 kilometres of electrical conduit and 12,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel were installed.
  • Thirty-two 100-horsepower exhaust jet fans, weighing 2,000 pounds each, and 1,380 lighting fixtures were installed onto the ceiling of the tunnel.
  • The tunnel has received a number of awards including the recent 2015 Award of Excellence in Project Management from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Celebrate Calgary seniors during Seniors’ Week

They’ve helped to build our city, our businesses and our communities. They sit on boards and committees, they’re highly involved in community and charity work, and they mentor and care for neighbours, friends and family.

June 1 to 7 is Seniors’ Week, a time to recognize the older adults in your life and the many ways they make a difference every day. To help celebrate Calgary seniors, various events  are being held across the city all week long. Some events are specifically for seniors, others are for the whole family to enjoy along with their elder friends or family members.

The most up-to-date list of events is online, but printed versions are available for pick up at all Calgary community associations and several seniors’ centres. And you can always contact 311 for information. Or find your own special way to celebrate the older adults in your life.

Either way, share your celebration stories and photos with us on our Seniors' Week Facebook Event page or on Twitter, using the hashtag #yycseniors.

Seniors’ Week is an annual designation by the Province of Alberta, supported by The City of Calgary through a proclamation by Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

For more information on Seniors’ Week and the services we offer seniors visit

Replacing the 12 Street S.E. Bridge

Built in 1908 for horse and buggy and foot traffic, the 12 Street S.E. Bridge, sometimes called the Zoo Bridge, is in need of replacement.

“The original bridge was built to enable the development of St. George’s and St. Patrick’s Island. The 12 Street S.E. bridge has provided Calgarians with excellent value over the last 100 years,” says Katherine Hikita, project manager for the 12 Street S.E. Bridge Replacement Project.

However, the march of time, floods and our changing needs have taken their toll. “The bridge has undergone a number of rehabilitations in order to keep traffic flowing. Analysis indicates it no longer makes sense to try and keep it up. The bridge needs to be replaced primarily because of its physical condition, while replacement also creates a lot of opportunities for improvement. The bridge is now an important link in the transportation network and not just a bridge to an island,” says Hikita.

The results of the first steps in the process to replace the bridge will be presented at an informal drop-in style information session on May 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Inglewood Community Association Hall, 1740-24 Avenue S.E. Participants can review the poster boards outlining the progress made so far and fill out a survey on how they use the bridge. More information and the survey are available online at The survey is open online until June 5.

Bridge construction will begin in 2016.