The 2013 Flood caused considerable damaged to the Bow River banks, instream infrastructure and changes to the footprint of the river. Over the past four years and into the future river banks will be stabilized and infrastructure redeveloped or replaced. In addition new bridges and river access will be built to support the ever increasing diversity of the city.
Each year there are two ” Windows of Opportunity” for instream work to be completed. April 6 to April 30 and July 15 to September 15. The main purpose of these restriction is to protect the spring spawning Rainbow Trout and fall spawning Brown Trout and restrict instream work during spring run-off. Each instream project is governed by Federal and Provincial statutes whereby there are policies and procedures that must be met to receive project approval. Although precautions are put in place to reduce the movement in sediment downstream, reduced viability can be expected over the duration of the work schedule. The following are a list of project that are planned for 2017:
This project managed by Alberta Transportation is a redevelopment of the high and low flow channels destroyed by the 2013 flood. Details of the project and timelines for instream work can be found at the following link Harvie Passage Redevelopment. The consulting engineers have indicated that the spring window of instream work will be completed on time:
“Instream work started today. The Contractor is working towards removing the cofferdams in the next week or so but the temporary diversion channel may not be blocked off till later. We are allowed to work instream till April 30th. The river will definitely be diverted back to the High Water Channel prior to April 30th”
12 Street SE Bridge:
The New 12 Street S.E. Bridge spans the Bow River on the south side of St. George’s Island. It is an important link for vehicles and people, which provides access to and from 9 Avenue S.E. and Memorial Drive and access to the Calgary Zoo. The majority of the instream work is complete. The new bridge is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Project details can be found at the following link 12 Street SE Bridge. The old bridge footprint has been proposed as a new boat ramp in the Calgary River Access Strategy. Work on the boat ramp is planned to start in 2018.
17 Avenue SE Bridge:
The City will be starting work on the bridge structures for the new 17 Avenue SE BRT Bridge adjacent to Cushing Bridge in early April. The first pieces of instream work will be the construction of a berm on the east side of the Bow River so the bridge structures can be built. Project details can be found at the following link 17 Avenue SE Bridge
Graves / Glenmore Bridge – Bank Stabilization
Phase Two of this riverbank stabilization is taking place in 2017. To further stabilize the riverbank upstrem of the bridge, 110 meters of the bank will be shored up. Project details can be found at the following link Glenmore Bridge
Quarry Park – Fish Compensation Program
After the 2013 flood, The City completed several riverbank stabilization and rehabilitation projects at various locations along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. While necessary, these projects resulted in the loss of fish habitat which is now being replaced. Reestablishing the Quarry Park back channel will take place in 2017. Project details can be found at the following link Quarry Park – FCP
Elbow River – Bank Stabilization:
A stretch of the Elbow River bank at Riverdale Avenue will be stabilized in 2017. Project details can be found at the following link Riverdale
Calgary River Access Site Developments:
The Calgary River Access Strategy has identified six river access sites that will be developed in the next two years. A new boat ramp at Ogden Bridge and upgrades to Graves Bridge and West Baker Park access sites will start in 2017. Details of the site developments are detailed at the following link CRA Priority Sites
Not all construction sites will impact the Bow River all the time during the spring and summer instream work windows. Every precaution to protect the environment can be expected.
The referenced instream work sites will be updated as information become available.
More in-depth information can be obtained at the following City of Calgary website
Calgary Water Resources Web Link
Calgary Transportation Web Link