The June floods swept away a large portion of Calgary’s riverbanks, but work is underway to ensure safety and peace of mind for infrastructure and homes is obtained.
The City of Calgary has begun to assess and prioritize approximately 100 riverbank erosion sites vulnerable to further erosion should the City not put measures in place to stabilize them.
“Damage to the riverbanks was extensive and there is a lot of work to be done,” said Frank Frigo, senior planning engineer, Water Services with the City of Calgary.
“More than 35 kilometeres of riverbank was severely eroded along the Bow and Elbow rivers and it may be a number of years until we are able to complete all of the necessary work.”
Six sites along the riverbank have been deemed critical, including 8 Ave. at 22 St. S.E. in Inglewood and Home Road and 52 St. N.W. (where work has already begun), Memorial Drive at 3 Street N.W. (which is slated to begin within the next couple of weeks) and Diamond Cove S.E., ENMAX power station in Douglasdale and Memorial Drive at 19 St. N.W., which will be addressed prior to the 2014 flood season.
Plans are being developed for 26 sites, such as Lindsay Park and the pathway adjacent to Stampede, as sites that might be vulnerable to flooding.
The prioritization of sites was determined by the City’s triple bottom line policy, which accounts for economic, social and environmental costs and benefits for each.
Land developers, such as The River condo project, in Calgary have also been assessing and redesigning based on the floods.
The River Project, located at 135 26th Avenue SW, along the Bow River, saw water level adjacent to the site that would have been approximately 55 cm above the designed ground floor level.
“We had designed our building based on previous flood data,” said Anne Clarke, Director of Sales. “With new information, it was important to try and do all we could with these new flood levels to provide further protection to our current owners against future possible flooding and for those whom will own in years to come.”
Even though the City of Calgary did not require the River Project, which has been classified in the Flood Fringe zone, to update their design as a result of the flooding, they have done so by raising the elevation of the ground floor by almost two feet.
The River Project has even developed a Flood Contingency Plan to help ensure they are not flooded in years to come.
“This Flood Contingency Plan will be an operational enhancement to further supplement the design enhancements that will be incorporated into the building and will be further developed with the input of the first Strata Council for The River once elected,” said Clarke.
Clarke said the flood impacted their construction by approximately two and a half months, and that they anticipate the project to be completed between March and August 2015.