CALGARY- As residents along the river nervously watch water levels, work is well underway to replace three pedestrian bridges that were wiped out during the June flood.
The bridges were along the Elbow River, at Sifton Blvd., Rideau and Sandy Beach. The city has allocated $9 million to repair all three.
“We have been armoring the riverbank at each bridge site, so that work should be done by the end of this week,” says project manager Charmaine Buhler. “We are looking to have all bridges open for use by end of the year, then landscaping work completed by the spring of next year.”
Those who live in the area say they hadn’t realized how vital the bridges were for the community, until they were gone.
“It’s just such a missing part of our community,” says Elbow Park resident Desiree Haight. “There is no traffic anymore, no children, nobody walking. I can’t believe the difference.”
READ MORE: Designs for new Elbow River bridges unveiled
Over at Sandy Beach, water services is working to shore up vulnerable riverbanks and replace a water gauge station which will determine the threat level of rising waters.
“What’s happening upstream, what’s happening that enters into the Glenmore Reservoir, and what’s happening downstream,” explains Rick Valdarchi from the River Flood Mitigation Program. “It’s very important to know what’s happening downstream, obviously, to understand what the potential impact is going to be.”
Foundation design and construction on the actual bridges is set to begin next month.