As we move into the spring, river users will hopefully see new and updated boat ramp developments taking place within and downstream of Calgary. The City will probably be undertaking the following projects this year as a part of the Calgary River Access Strategy:
- the improved boat ramp facility at West Baker Park for all types of boats.
- the temporary access at Shouldice Park for all types of boats.
- the start of the new designated river access site at Ogden Bridge.
Unfortunately, the City will not be undertaking the following projects until 2020 at the earliest:
- the new hand launch at Sunnyside that will be integrated into the city’s Sunnyside flood barrier in 2020-21
- a new access road to the boat ramp at the outflow of Harvie Passage Low Water Channel
- the new boat ramp facility at Inglewood, which has been postponed indefinitely pending completion of the other Priority 1 site developments.
CRUA believes that the planned facility at Inglewood is a critical access point that would offer a safe take-out site above Harvie Passage, and should not be delayed. We believe it is vital to look at an alternative site across the river on St. Patrick’s Island.
CRUA has met with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) to discuss the possibility of adding a boat ramp to St. Patrick’s Island adjacent to the Calgary Zoo – see attached St. Patrick’s Island River Access Proposal for details. CMLC was very receptive to this proposal in principal and they appear to be seriously considering making the improvements this spring.
Finally, it is unfortunate that the status of the City’s planned riverbank signs is uncertain at this time. These signs are intended to identify and promote the boat ramps and hand launches along both rivers.