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City of Calgary partially closing popular Edworthy Park trail due to safety concerns

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The city will be closing a large section of the popular Douglas Fir Trail in Edworthy Park.

It says portions of the trail have become unsafe.

“The City of Calgary has identified a number of safety concerns along a steep section of the Douglas Fir Trail. There will be a partial closure of this section of the Douglas Fir Trail while we determine next steps in addressing these safety concerns,” a City of Calgary spokesperson said in an email to CTV News.

The closure will shut down the area from just north of approximately 150 Wildwood Dr. S.W. to 38 Wildwood Dr. S.W.

After a study of the area, the city said it would inform Calgarians of the next steps for the pathway.

There is no indication if the path will ever reopen, which has regular users of the area concerned

“We don't want to close permanently but if they want to close it temporarily to fix whatever they're going to fix, then we embrace that and we would be happy to help them as volunteers,” said Mike Bracko, who manages the online group Save Douglas Fir Trail.

“So the message is, ‘please let us help you come to a better solution so that we can we can fix this area and we don't have to close it permanently.’”

Bracko says in early 2016 the slope along the south side of the path began to deteriorate and a bridge crossing an area of steep terrain began to shift.

At that time, Bracko says the city planned a permanent closure of that portion of the trail until volunteers worked with the city to re-establish the trail higher up the slope.

Now that section of the trail as well as some other portions are starting to erode, posing safety hazards.

“We've certainly noticed the erosion and the icy areas are getting a little bit harder and the pathway needs some rehabilitation. I think it just needs some tender loving care for a little bit,” said Lorraine Pierce-Hull, a user of the trail.

“A temporary closure okay, but a permanent closure? No, no, not a permanent closure. Temporary yes. Permanent no way.”

The city says by the end of the week, fencing and signs will be up along the trail warning people of the closure and sealing the area off.

When similar fencing went up in 2016 it was ignored by many hikers who cut holes in the fence and created paths to bypass the city barriers.

The city said this time bylaw officers will be regularly monitoring the area and anyone caught ignoring the closure could face fines of up to $500.

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