Details of the contract between Alberta Transport and Mountain View Partners, the consortium that has been awarded the contract to ‘Design, Build, Finance and Operate’ the SW Calgary Ring Road are now available. (Schedule 18 details the technical requirements. Scroll down to page 113 for a list of the environmental mitigation measures to be performed by the contractor.)

The Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society works to protect the flora and fauna of the Weaselhead and Glenmore Parks and to preserve the integrity of the Elbow River. Please learn about the impacts of the SW Calgary Ring Road and contact the Alberta Government to encourage them to do better. Lets build a road we can be proud of!

SW CALGARY RING ROAD CONCERNS

Listed below are our high level concerns. Please click each one to read more.

1. Settling of the Elbow River Valley berm over the long term

Highlight: The cut and fill design of constructing a berm to support the SWCRR across the Elbow River Valley will settle over a long time period. Has Alberta Transportation evaluated the cost of long term maintenance of the berm as it settles through the lacustrine deposits, silt and clay?

Option: Alberta Transportation should evaluate long term costs of upgrading the Elbow River crossing due to settling of the berm over time. These costs should be compared to other design options such as an open span bridge across the valley.

2. Realigning and restricting the meandering system of the Elbow River

Highlight: The dynamics of the meandering Elbow River, its alluvial aquifer and the entire ecosystem need to be better understood by the engineers developing the Elbow River crossing. The long-term effects of the causewayís design outside the right of way need to be considered.

Option: Alberta Transportation should assess options where the river is given the space to move and shape the environment freely. An open concept design that spans the Elbow River valley would allow for this.

3. Long-term effects on water quality

Highlight: Realigning and restricting the river will result in sediment loading. Air-born salt and other contaminants will impact the wetlands in the Weaselhead. Healthy wetlands help maintain water quality. Loss of their ability to perform this function plus the additional sediment loading of the river will result in reduced water quality in the Glenmore reservoir.

Option: Alberta Environment can improve environmental mitigation efforts to preserve water quality. The road design can be made to minimize impacts on the sensitive wetlands that provide valuable ecological services.

4. Long-term effect on the park’s community and wildlife

Highlight: The SWCRR will have significant impact on this highly used urban park. There is no other natural area comparable to the Weaselhead Park within the City limits and the long-term effects on the community due to the degradation of this protected area needs to be addressed.

Option: Technology is available to construct a road with minimal sound disturbance to the area, as well as reducing the environmental impacts and allowing a wildlife corridor. The Society urges citizens to ask the province for the best available road design to minimize the impacts on this valued area.

Concerned about the impact of this road on the Park?

SEND LETTERS TO these individuals to voice your opinions

JUST HOW CLOSE WILL THE RING ROAD COME TO THE WEASELHEAD?

Very close – in fact it will cut across the SW corner of the Park (where the Regional Pathway crosses the beaver ponds).

 

Let’s have a road Albertans can be proud of – a road with an adequate wildlife corridor, effective noise and light abatement, proper environmental mitigation and state of the art engineering to prevent water contamination with a Elbow River crossing that respects the integrity of the meandering river in high and low water flow. 

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MORE READING:

 

Elbow Ditch

Take a drive on the SW Calgary Ring Road  – at about 1min 30 seconds you will see the devastating changes proposed to the Weaselhead area

 

 

For a complete description of the route, the current agreement and the long history of this project see http://calgaryringroad.wordpress.com/tag/weaselhead/

http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/Water/Documents/Water-Documents/Calgary_Riparian_Strategy.pdf

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Transcript to you from the Alberta Legislature on March 6

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WaterSMART have just submitted an advisory document to Provincial Government in response to the 2013 floods. It is the result of much discussion, and input from a multitude of stakeholders including various municipal and provincial government departments, industry and NGOs. It uses a flood-mitigation program ‘Room for the River’ developed by the Netherlands, as its starting point, then sees how a similar approach might be applied to increase flood resilience in the Bow Basin – and prevent future floods causing the extensive disruption and damage we saw last year.

On page 38 it specifically endorses revising the design of the Elbow River crossing to include a wide-span bridge.

Check out the WaterSMART discussion on Rewilding our Rivers!

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