More money has been floated to a project designed to prevent a city neighbourhood from sinking into the Red Deer River.
Director of Development Services Elaine Vincent told council an additional $1.7 million is needed for the 2015-approved rip rap toe stabilization along the riverbank in the formerly known Riverview Park residential area.
Now a part of Westlake, the community was annexed into the city in 2009.
She explained the scope of the project, mainly the size and volume of the rocks, is higher than anticipated. In 2015, council approved $6.3 million for the project to stabilize the bank. While there are no homes at immediate risk, there is concern about the rapid erosion.
On any given year between 150 mm to 650 mm of slope along the riverbank in the Riverview Park residential area disappears into the river according to a 2012 geotechnical report. A couple of years ago, the city purchased and demolished two homes that were at immediate risk of sinking into the river. Council moved the project up two years in the capital plan in 2015.
Vincent asked council to picture an NFL field because that’s the amount of space needed to store the large rocks.
But the city must wait for approvals from Environment Canada before it can start building an ice bridge across the river to move the rocks and put them on the bank.
“We have to construct that ice bridge this winter,” said Vincent. “It depends on the weather. We’re seeing in the next 20 days it will be above zero. We need that freeze up to occur so we can begin construction.”
The plan was to complete construction this year but with the delay with the weather the city is not 100 per cent it will be completed this year.
The project is not contingent on outside funding but the city is trying to recover some of the costs through provincial and federal grants. The funding was approved in the 2016 capital budget.