Calgary’s Harvie Passage gets another makeover

Click to play video 'Harvie Passage undergoes flood repairs' Harvie Passage undergoes flood repairs
WATCH ABOVE: The Harvie Passage and Bow River banks are undergoing a major reworking. As Gary Bobrovitz reports, it’s part of a flood repair project by the Alberta government – Sep 6, 2016

The notoriously dangerous Harvie Passage on Calgary’s Bow River is under repair again after safety measures previously installed there were washed out by the 2013 flood.

The project, by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) is drawing praise from some recreational users.

A weir at the location has been the scene of several fatalities.

READ MORE: Officials remind Calgarians to steer clear of Harvie Passage to avoid safety risk 

The Alberta Whitewater Association said the rebuilding effort will boost safety and access to the waterway.

“That weir created a drowning machine and there was a six-foot drop in elevation into a perfect recirculating environment. So what we want to do is slope out that drop over a distance to allow people to paddle through, or raft through, or drift through without drowning in it,” Chuck White of the Alberta Whitewater Association said.

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READ MORE: New safety plan for Harvie Passage upsets paddling groups 

Over a number of years, the province spent $16 million to improve safety on the rapids where numerous people drowned over the years. But the 2013 flood destroyed much of that and caused damage to adjacent banks on the Bow River.

“The redesigned Harvie Passage will allow passage for fish and provide boaters and other water users with a safe path through the channel. We anticipate completion of the structure in 2018,” AESRD said in a statement Tuesday.

The work will include repairing nearby Bow River banks and creating improved fish-spawning areas.

READ MORE: High-tech monitoring underway in Harvie Passage, to ensure sport fish make it through 

The Bow River is recognized by anglers around the world as one of the finest trout-fishing streams within a major city.