Pathway repairs planned for summer

Okotoks: 1,017 meters of walkways in river valley to be rebuilt

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 06:00 am

Christa Michailuck, Okotoks Open Space Team Leader, walks along a flood damaged pathway near the Sheep River that was closed after last year’s flood.
Christa Michailuck, Okotoks Open Space Team Leader, walks along a flood damaged pathway near the Sheep River that was closed after last year’s flood.
Wheel file photo

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Just over one kilometer of pathways in the Sheep River Valley will be rebuilt and reopened this summer, but repairs will have to wait until after other mitigation projects will be completed.

“The pathway repair projects will take a backseat to the other flood mitigation projects that are going to be happening in the next six to eight weeks,” said Christa Michailuck, Okotoks open spaces team leader.

Okotoks lost about 1,230 meters of pathways to the flood and it has 1,017 meters of pathway left to rebuild, including an almost half-kilometer section in the Sheep River Park and four sections of the Heritage Pathway east of the Okotoks Public Library.

The Town was able to repair and reopen the pathway connecting the Woodhaven Stairs to the Laurie Boyd pedestrian bridge behind the Okotoks Public Library last year.

The Town is also planning to shore up the Sheep River’s banks near Lineham Avenue and the removal of a gravel bar downstream of the Laurie Boyd Pedestrian Bridge.

Michailuck said the pathway repairs will wait until this work is completed in the next month and a half. She said its expected pathway repairs will go ahead after this year’s spring runoff season ends in June.

“It’ll largely depend on what we get for bids back from contractors and contractor availability,” said Michailuck.

“That’s what I think will be the most realistic timeframe.”

The final repair bill for the pathway repairs hasn’t been calculated yet, but she said they expect it will be entirely covered by the provincial government under the Disaster Recovery Program.

“The estimated cost for the pathways only is probably between $120,000 and $140,000,” said Michailuck.

Approximately 530 meters of the pathway in Sheep River Park running from the playground near the Okotoks Lions Campground to the Laurie Boyd Bridge will need to be completely rebuilt.

The flood washed away the pathway and much of the land where it once ran. The riverbank in the area was rebuilt last year, but the pathway still needs to be rebuilt.

“The land is there if we wanted to reconstruct the pathway in approximately the same position it was in,” said Michailuck.

As for the Heritage Pathway, a nearly 101-meter section of pathway along South Railway Street needs to be rebuilt and three sections of the Heritage Pathway totaling 386 meters will be realigned and rebuilt.

Michailuck said the Town was able to recover the Woodhaven Footbridge and will put it back in place over a small channel in the river valley near the Woodhaven area.

She said it is further down the list of repairs.

The bridge was washed away and was found east of Okotoks near River’s Edge Golf Course.

“We were fortunate to have a resident call in who found that bridge at least five kilometers downstream of Okotoks,” said Michailuck.

She said the bridge is in good shape and will be able to be put back in place.

The Town is also looking to relocating the Spoilers Field baseball diamond to another location in town.


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