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Zoo Flood Mitigation and Zoo Road Reconstruction Project

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Project update

The scope of the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project has increased to include rehabilitation work and upgrades to Baines Bridge. Baines Bridge spans the Bow River on the north side of St.George’s Island, providing a connection to Memorial Drive. This work is being done in coordination with the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project in order to reduce the duration of construction activities in the community. The upgrades will include:

  • Repairing concrete on the bridge deck
  • New, wider pathways (2.6m on the west side and 1.5m on the east side)
  • Upgraded lighting
  • Painting railings

During construction there will be one vehicle lane open to access St.Patrick’s Island from Memorial Drive.

View a rendering of the Baines Bridge upgrades.

To learn more about Baines Bridge and other projects in the Inglewood and Ramsay community, drop into an upcoming information session.

Thursday, May 25
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Festival Hall - 1215 10 Ave SE

Saturday, May 27
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The Commons - 1206 20 Ave SE

Visit for more information.

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.

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

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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