Construction of the city's Touch the Water promenade project is on hold.

A report from city administration going to the city's urban planning committee next week recommended delaying the project until at least 2019.

The promenade is a plan to create more places for people to gather in Rossdale, near the north end of the new Walterdale bridge, and could include plazas, walkways, and docks.

Touch the Water

The Touch the Water promenade construction has been put on hold. (City of Edmonton)

The delayed opening of the Walterdale Bridge is partly responsible for putting the project on hold, the report said.

Portions of the promenade site are being used for laydown and staging areas for the bridge, which is expected to open sometime in September 2017.

Coun. Scott McKeen said the delays undermine the credibility of the city and council. "It's frustrating," McKeen said. "What I hate about this is it makes people more cynical about city government.

"The public is rightfully disturbed," he added.

McKeen said projects like the Walterdale Bridge and the Metro Line LRT have marred this council's term. 

The delays have prompted changes in city staff, he said, adding that council must also be more careful when hiring outside contractors in the future.

"The city cannot escape responsibility here," he said. "I don't figure any of us have any tolerance for this anymore." 

Contaminated land

Another reason for the promenade delay is the discovery of contaminated land in some of the area proposed for Touch the Water.

Since the timeline for provincial approval of its contamination management plan is uncertain, Touch the Water isn't able to proceed, the report says. 

Administration recommends removing the $9.8 million budgeted for the project in the current budget cycle.

A request for funding for Touch the Water would then be presented to city council as part of the 2019-2022 budget.