Flood-damaged path repairs could take until 2015
93 km of river pathways in Calgary closed during June floods, 36 km of which still need repairs
Repair work on some of Calgary's hardest-hit pathways is taking longer than expected, according to city officials.
More than 90 kilometres of pathway along the Bow and Elbow rivers were closed at the height of June's flooding — and 36 kilometres still remain closed for repairs.
In many cases paths have eroded and need to be reconstructed, or the riverbanks have collapsed or are unstable.
However, getting all that work done is proving difficult.
"We've got done what we can this year," said Duane Sutherland, the pathway lead for the city's parks department.
"Anything off the river's edge we're continuing to do, but there are some projects ... that are going to stretch into 2015 just because of regulatory requirements."
City must work within 'fish windows'
The city has to get approval from provincial and federal governments when it comes to riverbanks that need reconstruction, and that can be a time-consuming process.
In cases where the pathways have to be moved onto private land, the city also needs permission and land use agreements from property owners before that can happen.
As well, the city has to protect fish habitats by working within what are known as "fish windows."
Those happen during April and from July to September, and are the time spans when reconstruction would present the least risk of harm to fish — including their eggs, juveniles and spawning adults.
With those considerations in mind, the city says some pathways won't reopen to the public until 2015.
For complete details on pathway closures, repairs and alternate routes, visit Calgary.ca/parks.