Exec committee gives green light for slope stability study

Matt Gardner
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City councillors recommended moving ahead with a Little Red River slope stability study at Tuesday’s executive committee meeting.

Coun. Don Cody speaks at Tuesday’s executive committee meeting.

Having hired a consultant to conduct the study, which will investigate potential risks caused by eroding soil along the river, the councillors will vote on the recommendation at next week’s city council meeting.

“What we did tonight (is) we’ve given the green light to hire an organization to give us some advice as to … what’s necessary to get the parkway going or get the Little Red in shape for its use,” Coun. Don Cody said.

Péhonán Parkway will pay for the geotechnical study, which will cost $85,000 and will examine the potential cost to the city of shoring up the soil along Little Red River and potential risks to local utilities.

The study will also offer a proposal for how the city can move forward and stabilize the area.

“We don’t have the expertise in-house to do such a study … so we need to go (to) outside sources,” city manager Jim Toye said.

Little Red River Park experienced significant issues last year after high water levels at Anglin Lake were fed into the river through the Spruce River Dam, which the provincial government opened to mitigate flood risks.

Cody noted the importance of hiring professionals to help guide the city in investigating the stability of the area and determining the costs of repair.

“We need to know what the exact costs are going to be so that we can at some point in time ask for help from the provincial government, because in fact it was their water from Anglin Lake -- not our water -- that did the damage,” the councillor said.

We need to know what the exact costs are going to be so that we can at some point in time ask for help from the provincial government. Coun. Don Cody

“So now we want to be sure that we have the right numbers so we can present them with the proper numbers.”

The potential threat to utilities such as telephone and power lines from flooding is one of the major motivations for the study.

Meanwhile, the sheer scale and cost of any subsequent effort to repair the area is high on the minds of city councillors and a key reason for their hiring a consultant to determine the exact cost.

“A lot of earth work needs to be done,” Cody said. “Probably all the power, telephone and all that may have to be re-done simply because it’s in danger of going … There’s also got to be some poles put up or replaced for lighting and the whole thing. So it’s going to be a major, major project.”

A similar initiative that came up for discussion at Tuesday’s executive committee meeting was a report on slope stabilization on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River.

While a consultant has already carried out a study, Cody noted that the repair work itself remains to be done.

“We've got the rough cost and we’ll now proceed with the construction.”

Geographic location: Little Red River Park, Péhonán Parkway, North Saskatchewan River

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