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Pathways on road to recovery

Okotoks: Flood damaged paths to open in coming weeks

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 12:33 pm

Maryann and Jessica Spong make their way along the Sheep River on June 10 near Lions Campground on a pathway that is set to be repaved after being damaged by last year's floods.
Maryann and Jessica Spong make their way along the Sheep River on June 10 near Lions Campground on a pathway that is set to be repaved after being damaged by last year's floods.
JORDAN VERLAGE/OWW

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The final steps in repairing the Sheep River Valley are taking place nearly one year after flooding tore apart the riverbanks and pathways.

Damaged pathways along the river are expected to be usable again within the next few weeks, said Okotoks open spaces leader Christa Michailuk.

“Because the pathway was completely lost we have to plan a new layout of how it will look and then they start grating that,” she said. “Sheep River Park area is already at that stage. Now we’re moving into Heritage Pathway area and looking at the layout and will grade those areas next.”

The repairs are estimated to cost $145,000, which will be covered by the province’s Disaster Recovery Fund. In total more than 1,000 metres of pathway need to be repaired near the Okotoks Lions Campground and east of the Okotoks Public Library.

“Some homes and businesses were effected in Okotoks from the flooding, but predominately on the public lands the only damage that occurred was the main river valley core and the Lions campground,” Michailuck said. “And the Lions campground worked really hard and got prepared and back open and so we need to get those pathways open too.”

The pathways had been on hold until now while other flood remediation projects were taking place in the area.

“The other flood mitigation projects had contractors working in the same area, and you can’t have two projects underway at the same time,” she said. “(The river bank stabilization) was hauling big rock in and out so it would have ruined any pathways that we were working on, so we had to wait until it was complete.”

Okotoks municipal engineer Marley Oness said that construction on the bank stabilization has been going well for the last month and they are nearing completion on the $2 million project that was also covered by the province.

“It’s substantially complete. We still have some cleanup and landscaping to do there that we are going to hold off on until after the flood season is over, because don’t want to do a bunch of work that could be washed away,” he said. “So cleanup and landscaping will be complete end of June, early July on that project.”

Michailuck is looking forward to having the pathways back open in time for people to take advantage of them this summer.

“Okotoks is pretty well known for its pathway system,” she said. “They are heavily used for sure, especially throughout the river valley – that’s where people want to be. People will have the rest of the summer to enjoy them, so it’s nice to get them done now.”

Michailuck said the Town is reminding residents to abide by construction fencing and to stay out of the area while heavy equipment is working.


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