Many Edmontonians enjoy having direct access to the North Saskatchewan River Valley and on Tuesday, the urban planning committee was looking at ways to provide more.
Councillors discussed a plan to speed up building something in the river valley.
The working plan involves a proposed River Walk Promenade — an idea Councillor Scott McKeen likened to Vancouver’s Sea Wall, that could be a tourist attraction.
The final project is a ways away from coming to fruition, but councillors talked about two different options.
The first version would be more natural with pathways part way up the valley. The second version is more developed with paths and walkways right next to the river.
Mayor Don Iveson stressed he’d want the project to be durable and able to withstand flooding.
“Under the right circumstances, then I think we could secure funding for the next infrastructure cycle,” Iveson said. “Then it would be within the next sort of three to five years you might see it actually go in.
“Again, there’s some ‘ifs’ on the front-end of that,” the mayor said. “But certainly, if people respond very positively to it, I’d like to move ahead with it. We want to hear from people.”
No money has been allocated for the project yet, but many councillors are anxious to get something started. They say there’s been a lot of talk about “touching the water” but not a lot of action.
“It does strike me that we’ve done an awful lot of consultation and not much building in the last 10 years down there,” Councillor Ben Henderson said.
Councillors identified some concerns with the proposal, one of which would be consulting with and aligning with the River of Green policy, which governs what the city does more broadly in the river valley.
Tuesday’s committee meeting saw councillors push ahead on the idea, which will include asking the public what they think and finding money in the upcoming capital budgets to pay for planning and design.