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Zoo Flood Mitigation and Zoo Road Reconstruction Project

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Project Update

12 Street SE Bridge has had restricted vehicle access for some time. The bridge was fully closed for a few weeks to accommodate the sheet piling on the south side of Zoo Island. That work is complete. On November 28 we expect to reopen the bridge to the same restrictions that were in place prior to closing it for piling. Access is limited to pedestrians entering the Zoo Administration Building and the South Security Gate with a valid Zoo membership or resident card, contractor vehicles, and vehicles approved to access the Zoo Administration Building.

Regular inspections of the 12 St SE Bridge are ongoing, and we will continue to update you as the project progresses.

As the conditions for pile driving have been better than anticipated, we now expect all piling work to be complete by mid December 2016. Piling will only take place on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.*

*While we are not anticipating any piling to occur outside of the hours listed above, should any unforeseen circumstances occur, we will notify the community in advance.

Take a look at the progress we have made so far.

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

(Click to see larger image)

As of March 2016 Zoo road was closed to through traffic. Vehicles are able to cross the 12 Street S.E. Bridge to access The Zoo Administration Building.* Parking for St.Patrick’s Island can be accessed from the north side of the island by using Memorial Drive. The detour plan for September 12, 2016 – November 2017 can be found here.

12 Street S.E. Bridge is temporarily closed from October 16-28, 2016.

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

  • Phase two of piling September 2016 – Early 2017
  • 12 Street S.E. Bridge temporarily closed to complete piling work over Zoo Road on the north side of the bridge

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