June 27, 2017 5:41 pm
Updated: June 27, 2017 5:45 pm

Edmonton council gives approval for engineering work to improve ‘End of the World’ site

The End of the World viewpoint in Edmonton. August 25, 2015.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

Edmonton city council gave the go-ahead Tuesday for engineering work to be done on the lookout known as the “End of the World.”

The popular point overlooks the North Saskatchewan River and offers breathtaking views of the river valley.

“I understand why people go there, I’ve gone down to take a look at it,” Mayor Don Iveson said after the decision.

“I won’t go anywhere near the edge, I think people who walk out there are nuts.”

READ MORE: Design for ‘The End of the World’ lookout going to Edmonton city council

Construction won’t be done until a geotechnical study says it’s safe to do so. The city will start by looking at the piles that already exist in the structure in an effort to make sure they’re not making an already bad situation worse.

“The End of the World” sits at the top of the riverbank on Saskatchewan Drive in the Belgravia neighbourhood. It’s above the remains of Keillor Road, which was closed to traffic in 1994 before crumbling into the river due to erosion.

“I cannot believe no one has fallen off this thing and died,” Iveson said during debate Tuesday. “Something has to be done here. Anything less is unacceptable.”

WATCH BELOW: A unique location in our city is off limits, but the city is looking at making changes. Vinesh Pratap filed this report when the discussion began in 2015.

The area has been off limits for over a decade. Last fall, the city decide to adopt an “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality when it became clear signs forbidding entry were doing little to keep people off the site.

For Iveson, the construction work will convert a “massive liability” into an amenity and an asset.

“Doing nothing is simply not an acceptable option to the community, or to the benefit of people who are at risk.”

Design and environmental reviews are scheduled through the rest of this year. A plan on the city’s website says construction would begin sometime in 2018.

– With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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