Work underway to fortify Calgary’s Glenmore Dam against future floods

Work intended to fortify the Glenmore Dam and protect Calgary against future floods is underway.

Officials said the structure’s aging wooden gates will be replaced with steel ones, which could diminish the impact of a flood, such as the one in 2013, by 30 per cent.

Calgary’s planning commission was given a closer look at the reconstruction effort on Thursday.

“We’re going to be able to keep the water levels in the winter time at a higher level than we can now,” said David Edmunds, with GEC Architecture.

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He said a new lift system is being built to allow for the city to access more water through the year.

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“The wooden gates must be brought up in the wintertime, because they’re not capable of taking any of the loading from the ice. So, that forces the water level to drop in the winter.”

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The project engineering lead said the new gates will be 2.5 metres above crest, which is “the maximum height you can achieve.”

A water main and gas line are being removed and relocated beneath the Elbow River.

The City of Calgary released a photo of the wooden gates at Glenmore Dam on July 13, 2017. City of Calgary handout
The City of Calgary released a photo of damage to the concrete at the Glenmore Dam on July 13, 2017. City of Calgary handout
The City of Calgary released "before and after" photos of work at the Glenmore Dam on. City of Calgary handout

The construction will also include some cosmetic improvements. More lighting is being added to the arches on the upstream side of the dam, which is an iconic structure and one of the city’s oldest landmarks.

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The pathway is also being widened, with separate pedestrian and cycling lanes added.

The entire project is expected to cost the city $82 million. Construction will be complete in 2020.


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