Bow River pathway set to reopen in the southeast next month
Published Friday, August 23, 2019 12:32PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, August 23, 2019 6:45PM MDT
Construction crews are wrapping up a three-year slope stabilization project near the community of McKenzie.
It is a scenic stroll that was used by at least 2,000 people a day before it was closed in 2016.
Groundwater flows towards the Bow River and when it emerges on the bank, that water makes the slope unstable.
Over the years the city has shored up the pathway that runs on top of the slope numerous times, but heavy rainfall in 2016 forced it to close for safety reasons.
It took the city almost a year to come up with a long-term solution and then, in late 2017, construction crews arrived on-site.
Officials say there was some pretty complex work to make sure the pathway wouldn't be affected by groundwater in the future.
Over the past two years, workers have drilled 236 piles sunk 30 metres into bedrock and reinforced them with steel.
Then, those piles were anchored diagonally into the bank to keep the others from moving.
A 300-metre-long retaining wall was also installed and now sits on top of the bank, complete with a safety fence for people using the pathway.
Pretty much all that's left to do is some touch-up work and landscaping before it reopens to the public in mid-September.
Jason Lin, the project manager, says it was an extensive project.
"Slope stabilization is complex, and it requires investigation, monitoring and developing remediation solutions, not every situation fits at all sites, but this one fits for this one."
It cost millions to complete the work, but the exact amount won’t be known until it’s released by city hall.
"The budget is contained in a confidential report with council, and as such it remains confidential," said Lin.
While this project is just wrapping up, a little further north crews started slope stabilization work in June near 130th Avenue in Douglasdale.
"Right now we’re doing some excavating work," said Lin. "The solution there for the pathway and the slope stabilization includes piles but they’re not as deep as the ones here [in McKenzie], they’ll be about 15 metres deep."
Lin says that project should be finished by spring 2020.