Willow Estates

Why can we drive on the 7th Ave portion Berm in Willow Estates but not the Downtown Berm?

This roadway is a low volume thoroughfare. The existing roadway modification is relatively minor in Willow Estates. Traffic safety and geometric design are not significant issues, as they are for the Downtown Berm.

Can I still access the Red Deer River at Willow Estates once the Berm is built?

Currently there is public access to the riverbank. Similarly, access will be available to the crest of the Berm and riverbank at select locations.

I live on 7th Ave E, to the east of the project area, how will I drive to my house during construction if the road is being worked on?

7th Ave is the only access to the homes east of Willow Estates. A detailed Traffic Accommodation Strategy (TAS) will be a component of the Tendering phase of the project in order to minimize inconvenience to residents. Measures such as single lane closures and alternative access will be investigated.

When and where will the replacement trees be planted?

Where possible, replacement vegetation such as grass will be incorporated into the project. This includes plantings adjacent to the river toe of the setback dike and also shrub and other plantings adjacent to the drainage swale that is located on the land side of the dike. Additional trees will be planted at other suitable locations in Drumheller Valley.

Why doesn't the Berm just run south to tie into the railway grade instead of raising 7th Ave?

The above measure was reviewed but had drawbacks. These include: (1) 7 Ave would still have to be raised on either side of the dike to allow for a gradual transition; (2) requires larger and more complex cross drain/culvert structure to convey ditch flow across the Berm; and (3) potential backup of ditch flow at cross drain/culvert would result in flooding of Willow Estates.

Why does the dike not extend further west to protect the properties adjacent to Riverside Drive?

As shown in the Figure, Riverside Drive and the area to the east are higher than the 1850 m3/s flow.

Since the Berm footprint does not encroach into landowner's backyards, how close will the Berm be to property owners fence lines?

Typically, there will be between 2 to 5 m between the toe of the Berm and landowner's property lines.

Are regulatory approvals required for encroaching into the river?

Yes. Regulatory approvals are required from Federal agencies (DFO, Transport Canada) and Provincial agencies (Alberta Environment & Parks, Alberta Public Lands).

There are benches by the sidewalk on River Point Drive along the way to the river. Will these be replaced?

Yes, pending easy removal in the event of an emergency.

Will there still be emergency access to the river?

Yes, access to the river will remain the same with an accessible gravel road and a gate.

Will residents be able to access the river with canoes, kayaks, snow mobiles, etc.?

River access will remain the same as it is now, with a gated, accessible gravel road.

How wide is the top of the berm?

The top of the berm will be 4m wide.

How do the stormwater gates work on the berm?

The stormwater outfalls will be fitted with gates to mitigate against river water moving back into the community during a high flow event through the stormwater drainage system. Each manhole will have both a passively operated flap gate and a manually operated sluice gate, which can be closed during a flood event by Town staff.

Why can there be riprap for the Willow Estates Berm, but not the Downtown Berm?

The Downtown berm does have riprap in some locations to protect the riverbank against erosion, similar to the Willow Estates berm.  For the Downtown Berm alignment considered which keeps Riverside Drive open and does not have a retaining wall, the berm footprint extends into the river by several metres, with riprap placed on top of it, which would be a significant flow constriction and have impacts on fish habitat.  This Downtown berm option was not advanced further as Fisheries and Oceans Canada have told the Flood Office that if alternate berm alignments are available, they will not permit those with significant in-stream encroachments.

Given the slope of the Willow Estates Berm, who is responsible for the ongoing maintenance?

The Town of Drumheller will be responsible for mowing of the berm several times a year.  The berm side slopes will be similar to a roadway ditch side slope.

Why can’t the Willow Estates Berm encroach into the river, leaving more space behind residents’ backyards?

Encroaching into the river impacts aquatic habitat, which requires approval from Alberta Environment and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which are difficult to get approved, especially when there are other viable alternatives that do not encroach into the river.

Now that the Willow Estates Berm will be higher than the previous berm, the public walking on the berm top will cause privacy issues for residents’ private backyards. What is being done to mitigate this?

Signage will be in place, and no formal trails will be constructed on the berm crest.  As the berm will be on public land, the DRFMO can’t stop the public from accessing the area.

How does the Willow Estates Berm drain?

A ditch will be constructed in between the toe of the berm and the back of lots to collect runoff.  The ditch will convey the stormwater runoff and snow melt to stormwater catch basins at central locations, to convey the runoff to the river via pipes.

If we don’t want any replacement trees or shrubs planted, to ensure our river view is not obstructed, is this possible?

The landscape team will do what is in their power to accommodate individual resident preferences when it comes to tree and shrub replacements behind their homes.

Will the construction team be on the lookout for children catching the school bus?

Yes, the construction team has been notified of the bus stop locations and will act safely and diligently during school hours.

Who will be responsible for dust control during construction?

The contractor will install tarps on the construction fencing to help mitigate against dust blowing into adjacent yards, and will manage the fill placement to mitigate drying of materials and development of dusty conditions.  Should you have concerns about dust as the work progresses, feel free to reach out to Wilco at 403-660-6607.