Calgary

Calgary sailors left high and dry by lowering of Glenmore Reservoir

A flood mitigation project will leave some users of the Glenmore Reservoir high and dry this summer.

Only hand-launched boats will be able to access the water for the 2018 season

The Glenmore Reservoir's water level will be lowered for a three-year, $82-million construction project. (City of Calgary)

A flood mitigation project will leave some users of the Glenmore Reservoir high and dry this summer.

Sailors who use the waterway have been told trailer-launched boats won't be able to access the water this season as the level is being lowered to allow work crews to access parts of the dam.

As a result, access will be available only for hand-launched boats, such as kayaks and canoes.

Expected to take three years to complete, the $82-million project includes construction of a new bridge deck — allowing better access for pedestrians and cyclists — along with concrete work on the lower parts of the face of the dam and installation of a new steel gate and hoist system, which will allow the city to better manage storage when water levels are low in winter and high in spring.

Here's a map of the temporary access to Glenmore Reservoir. (City of Calgary)

Changes for this season include:

  • The South Glenmore boat launch will be closed to all boats.
  • The Heritage Park boat launch will be open for the 2018 season to all canoes, kayaks and hand-launched craft. No trailer-launched boats can be launched from this site during the 2018 season.
  • The Canoe and Rowing Club dock will be open for all hand-launched boats.
  • An alternate boat launch will be available to service programming and classes only.
  • The S.S. Moyie will not run at Heritage Park in 2018.
  • Nearly all City of Calgary registered sailing and boating programs — including Glenmore Sailing School — will operate as scheduled this season. Check the city's website for more info.
The project will include concrete work on the lower parts of the face of the dam and installation of a new steel gate and hoist system. (City of Calgary)

Tim Griggs, commodore of the Glenmore Sailing Club, told the Calgary Eyeopener the changes will have a financial impact and he expects they will lose some members.

"Basically, our sailing season is null and void," he said. "It's definitely going to impact us financially. We had some other great programs we were going to initiate this summer we now can't go forward with. It's a huge impact for us."

Griggs said he understands the reasons for the changes, but the club should have received more notice.

"We would have liked it if the city water department had told us of this earlier so we could have planned for it better," he said. "Right now, we're scrambling."

Grigg said the club is looking at running the junior sailing program on various community lakes around the city for this season.

"But the bigger boats, they're virtually high and dry on the reservoir for this season," he said.

The dam was originally built in the 1930s. The reservoir supplies drinking water to the southern parts of the city.

Work will be done from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. There will be some periods of 24-hour construction activity, but those aren't expected to cause noise-related issues.

A photo showing the reservoir while it was under construction in 1932. (City of Calgary)
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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