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City Centre Waterfront Redevelopment Program

Creating a vibrant, safe, and comfortable public open space for year-round enjoyment

Fort McMurray, Alberta

One of the biggest and complex regulatory jobs in an urban area requires a team that understands the unique challenges working in a municipal environment and the importance of creating a vibrant community that provides recreational opportunities while preserving the ecological attributes. Our client, The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), embarked on the journey to complete this project—a series of recreational amenities along the Clearwater and Snye Rivers including trails, viewpoints, a marina, footbridges, and water quality improvement options. With winter looming and delays in regulatory review process, obtaining the approvals and starting construction was going to be difficult.

Our approach was to create a team that integrated the designers and the RMWB management team and facilitated early and frequent engagement with the regulatory authorities to understand the challenges and identify opportunities within the project design. For example, Stantec and the designers developed special design features to accommodate spawning habitat for northern pike, helping receive an approval under the Fisheries Act in two weeks—unheard of on other projects.

Stantec has completed baseline biophysical data collection for this project including fisheries, rare plants, frogs, breeding birds, vegetation, and historical resources impact assessments to identify areas with archaeological or paleontological importance. This information will play a critical role in determining trail design and alignment and implications on schedule from regulatory requirements.

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