Motorists advised to watch out for equipment

A lot more truck and heavy-equipment traffic is expected behind Red Deer’s water treatment plant this week — and pedestrians and motorists are being warned to be careful.

Contractors working for the City of Red Deer’s Environmental Services Division begin removing the temporary cofferdam along the south shore of the Red Deer River

Contractors working for the City of Red Deer’s Environmental Services Division begin removing the temporary cofferdam along the south shore of the Red Deer River

A lot more truck and heavy-equipment traffic is expected behind Red Deer’s water treatment plant this week — and pedestrians and motorists are being warned to be careful.

On Thursday, contractors began removing a temporary dam of earth and rock that had helped divert some Red Deer River flow so that a new water intake system could be constructed for the water treatment plant.

City of Red Deer environmental planning engineer Gord Ludtke said the cofferdam was created last fall to give construction workers a dry work area while a new water intake system was being installed low on the river bank.

This now-completed new intake will be the primary one for the treatment plant, while the previous intake, located mid-river, will be the backup system.

Ludtke said the new system is more efficient, taking in as much as 150 million litres of water a day, compared to the 90-million-litre capacity of the old intake. It will also allow water treatment plant workers to better regulate the flow as the water level rises or lowers, he added.

Pedestrians and users of the south bank trail and Red Deer River are being asked to use caution in these areas — which are already blocked off — and to keep away from the construction equipment at the site.

Traffic and noise along 54th Avenue is expected to increase until the dam is removed. Ludtke anticipates it will be gone within a week as contractors labour over Easter weekend.

For more information, call the city’s Environmental Services Department at 403-342-8750.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com