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Douglasdale and McKenzie Lake Slope Stability Project

Project update Oct. 20, 2016

Pathway closure in effect –update on pathway closure

  • Heavy rain during July and August caused erosion of the pathway in a section behind Mt. Alberta View.
  • Through an inspection process, and consultation with other departments, The City determined the need to close the pathway for safety reasons. It was closed on August 12, 2016.
  • The pathway has been detoured along Mt. Douglas Close S.E. until remediation of the slope and the pathway can be completed.

What is happening now?

  • The City recognizes this is a high priority area and are moving ahead on a priority remediation of the slope and pathway in the area that is closed.
  • Geotechnical consultants have developed a detailed design and a contractor has been hired. The contractor’s crews have set up on site and there is increased activity in the area.
  • For safety reasons construction fencing has been set up to seal off the construction area.
  • The City asks citizens to follow the detour signs and to not access either the closed area or the slope below it. This is for your own safety and to maintain the stability of the slopes.
  • The remediation work includes stabilizing the pathway and area at the top of the slope where the pathway has collapsed, which will allow the use of construction equipment in the area.
  • Monitoring of the pathway is ongoing and includes:
    • Daily visual inspections of the 3.5 km section of the pathway including the closed area.
    • Continued monitoring of the slope with inclinometers that are currently in place at the top of the slope.

Long-term solution

  • The City will continue with plans to develop a design to remediate the slope and pathway along the 3.5 km section of pathway, as identified in the report presented to committee and Council in late fall 2015.
  • The process involves developing detailed design, additional data collection and construction.
  • The city will have a construction manager on board soon to facilitate design and speed up construction.
  • Slope stability projects are highly complex and this work will require more data in order to design the best solution.
  • One solution will not fit every section of the slopes – there may be a variety of solutions developed in order to meet the conditions in each section.

Project background

Following heavy rain and the extreme weather events over many of the last eleven years, slope movements on the Escarpment east of the Bow River adjacent to the communities of Douglasdale and McKenzie Lake, have damaged The City’s pathway along a 3.5 km section.

Since 2005, the Roads business unit has worked with external consultants to monitor, investigate and develop remediation options for The City’s Infrastructure (the slope and the pathway) in accordance with the Slope Stability Management Framework. In August 2015, a geotechnical consultant completed a Feasibility Study with initial recommendations and cost estimates for the long-term stabilization of the slope and remediation of the pathway.

A funding request report, which included the Feasibility Study, was presented to the Transportation and Transit Committee of Council on Nov. 18, 2015. The discussions about the report, and the subsequent approval of a City funded-option to implement the Feasibility Study recommendations, were held in camera and this information is therefore confidential. The City-funded option was approved unanimously by committee and was also approved by Council on Dec. 14, 2016.

In January 2016, Transportation Infrastructure took over the project from Roads and is working on the design and construction of a solution to improve the stability of the slope and the pathway that supports the slope. The project will take place in phases and over several years. The repair of the pathway and the slope will benefit the whole area.

At this time, there is no risk to the safety of the adjacent properties or the public from slope instability along the pathway. The City will continue to monitor the slope and the pathway after major rain events.

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Project scope

This will be determined and communicated as the project moves forward.

Project timeline

This will be determined and communicated as the project moves forward.


The City will continue to provide updates including the updating of this webpage.

More information

Please fill out the 311 online form if you require more information.