Using bioengineering to stabilize riverbanks
Fish Creek Provincial Park is an urban park in Calgary—the second largest in Canada. When the city experienced a flooding event in 2013, high water damaged the pathway infrastructure within the park. Portions of the trail network were lost to erosion and two crossings were lost. Bridge 8’s abutment washed out, but otherwise the bridge was structurally intact. Bridge 9 was completely swept off its abutment and required a new, more flood resilient structure in its place.
To reinstate both bridges, we provided flood risk assessment, hydrotechnical, geotechnical, and structural design recommendations. We also provided preliminary and detailed engineering design, regulatory applications, tender support, and construction services. Our design objective was to return the sites to a pre-flood condition, re-establish the pedestrian connections, and include design interventions to provide mitigation and increased resiliency against future high-water events.
Our engineers and landscape architects worked together to implement bioengineering techniques and rehabilitation measures—including the use of on-site large woody debris, vegetated riprap, and engineered toe protection—to stabilize the banks and increase the sites’ vegetation diversity and aquatic habitat. With construction completed in 2015, vegetation growth has taken root and is well established in a park that works to preserve the natural landscape and forest.
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