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Zoo Flood Mitigation and Zoo Road Reconstruction Project

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Project Update

Construction is progressing with the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project. We have begun pile driving and expect to complete d this phase of construction in early June 2016. Pile driving will be paused for the summer months and will resume in the fall.

To minimize disruption to the zoo’s neighbours, pile driving will only take place from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on weekdays. General construction activities may still occur from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Friday, and from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

About the project

The zoo was severely impacted by the 2013 floods, incurring approximately $50 million in damages that included damage to buildings and other critical infrastructure, cost of protecting animals, and loss of revenue. Recent flood maps show that the zoo is at risk of near complete inundation during a 1:20 year event – that means regular flooding if this project isn’t completed.

The Zoo Flood Mitigation project will protect the zoo against future flooding, preserving one of Calgary’s greatest assets, and ensuring that the zoo will be able to teach and delight Calgarians and visitors for generations to come.

The project includes flood protection measures such as below-ground steel sheets, above-ground berms, and a pumping system. These measures will protect the zoo to one metre above the 2013 flood, which is half of a metre above the 1:100 year flood elevation.

The scope of the project has expanded to include a full reconstruction of Zoo Road to help all users feel safer and more comfortable, and ensure a safe emergency route our of Inglewood and Ramsay. Some of the improvements to Zoo Road include:

  • Wider, standardized vehicle lanes
  • A new four-metre pathway for pedestrians and cyclists
  • New lighting for both the road and the pathway
  • Improved sightlines as you approach and exit both the 12 Street S.E. Bridge and Baines Bridge
  • Safer pedestrian crossing at the zoo’s west gate

The Zoo Flood Mitigation/Zoo Road Reconstruction Project is coordinating with the 12 Street S.E. Bridge project.

The Calgary Zoo will be open and fully operational throughout construction. Public will access the zoo via the North Gate.

Construction began in March 2016 and is planned to be complete by late 2017. The project will be complete before spring 2018.

See rendering of the project here.

Detour Information

Zoo Road will be closed to through traffic starting Monday, March 7, 2016. From now until September 2016, vehicles will still be able to access St Patrick’s Island and The Zoo’s Administration Building via the 12 Street Bridge S.E. However, there will be no access between Zoo Road and Memorial Drive.

(Click to see larger image)

Starting in September 2016 the construction will shift and a new detour plan will be implemented. The detour plan for September 2016 – November 2017 can be found here.

Public engagement

The project team presented to the Inglewood BRZ on October 6, 2015 and held public information sessions on October 8, 2015 and February 23, 2016.

Next steps

  • Completion of Phase 1 anticipated for early June
  • Pile Driving to resume in fall 2016

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