Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flood damaged pathway repairs progress



The City of Calgary has made significant progress in restoring pathways damaged due to the June flood.  At the height of the flood, 93 kilometres along the Bow and Elbow Rivers were closed due to unstable river banks or pathway erosion. Two months later, more than 57 km have been restored, including a key connector under the Bonnybrook/Alyth bridge.

The repair and reconstruction of the remaining 36 kilometres will take more time and will remain closed for public safety.  Due to environmental and land ownership considerations as well as regulatory approval processes, it is not known when all pathways will be fully open.

“Calgarians value their pathways and some of the closed sections are very popular and highly used,” says Todd Reichardt, Parks Manager. “We recognize the impacts closed pathways have on recreational users and commuters. Be assured we are working to minimize these inconveniences as much as possible and are working to find temporary routes.”

Where sections of pathway were washed away by the flood, river banks need to be rebuilt and that requires regulatory approvals from other levels of government.  Further, work in and around rivers can only be performed at certain times of the year to protect fish.  These “fish windows” occur in April and from mid-July to mid-September.

Another challenge to completing the restoration work is that some sections are on land that The City doesn’t own.  In such cases, The City requires approval from the landowner to begin repairs.

“Throughout the fall and winter, The City will seek approval from private landowners on access so that reconstruction can begin as soon as possible next year.”

Pathway users are urged to obey all closure signs and to leave hazard signs in place for others to see. Some of the damaged pathways abruptly end where the flooding washed away river banks.  Closure signs help alert users of these hazards so everyone can continue to use the pathways safely.

City of Calgary Parks thank citizens for their patience and support as work continues to restore the pathway system.  For more information on pathways and the work Parks is doing to recover from the flood, please visit calgary.ca/parks.

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