Brewery Hill is one of the most scenic spots in Lethbridge, with a view of brewery gardens, the coulees and the high level bridge, but right now, its erosion is on display.
“We checked that one out two, three years ago — tiny, tiny bit of settlement because the drainage didn’t get to the catch basin it was designed to and heavy rains got into the crack in the asphalt and down in the slopes,” said Darwin Juell, manager of transportation with the city.
The boardwalk and parking area have given way and dropped about three feet. They will now have to be repaired.
“Remove that entire boardwalk, cut back the slopes to about a three-to-one-side slope, which is a safe-side slope for any water, and then we will put in a pathway, a three-metre asphalt pathway, remove some of the parking and have a pull out for parking, so there will be a little less parking but the slopes will be safe,” added Juell.
The rain this year is also a culprit for some damaged pathways in the coulees, like the one from the Galt Museum to Fort Whoop Up.
“With the changing weather patterns, we are getting more intense rain, more heavy rainfall. Slopes can’t handle that.
“Water comes down at a tremendous rate, it starts eroding pathways, gravel roads,” said Juell.
The moisture Lethbridge saw this year also has the city keeping an eye on coulee slumping in certain areas, making sure it isn’t happening at an accelerated rate.
“Once water gets into this layer of Lenzie Silts, it becomes very unstable and it hits a four-to-one-side slope not a three-to-one-side slope,” he added.
Mother Nature can’t be told what to do, and a lack of science and technology when construction started years ago has meant the city has to keep a close eye on certain areas.
“Things that were developed 20, 30, 40, 50 and 100 years ago, they didn’t have that technology back then nor did we know about the Lenzie Silt issue, so that’s where we start monitoring those subdivisions to make sure they aren’t taking out property.”
Repair work hasn’t begun at Brewery Hill, but crews are currently fixing the pathway from the Galt Museum to Fort Whoop Up.