East Village is strong.
We’re also relieved. We’re back in our offices, the lights are on, and we’re back in the business of realizing the EV vision and building the future of downtown living. New East Village infrastructure has proven remarkably resilient, and the Evolution and FIRST residential projects suffered little to no damage from the flood.
The reason for that is because flood proofing was integrated into plans for the rejuvenation of East Village, and the flood plain has been raised up to four feet over the past several years. That’s why RiverWalk phases I and 2, along with Riverfront Lane, the EV Sales & Experience Centre, public art installations and several development parcels along the Bow River also remained dry. We’re happy to be able to carry on with our scheduled summer events and look forward to bringing Calgarians back together in East Village. Community, always precious to us, has taken on a whole new meaning in light of the events of the past two weeks.
The overland flooding that the neighbourhood sustained came from ground water and the backed-up Elbow River rather than directly from the Bow River. This has affected residents in long-standing residential towers along 8th Ave SE most of all; they were obliged to leave their homes and a return date has not yet been fixed. Master developer CMLC, along with Embassy BOSA and FRAM+Slokker, have joined relief efforts for the residents, many of whom are senior citizens.
After assessing the neighbourhood in the past few days, we now have a very clear picture of post-flood East Village. Here’s the status:
The FIRST development by FRAM+Slokker is again under construction; the site was not impacted by the water.
The site of Evolution Phase I is currently pumping out remaining water and will commence construction again soon. The developer says that the completion date of the project won’t be affected.
RiverWalk Phase III near Fort Calgary sustained minor damage as the river eroded some landscaping. It’s closed for now as we study the impact.
The most significant volume of water that came into our community entered via the LRT tunnel and the 4th Street Underpass. The SE LRT tunnel near City Hall Station has now reopened.
The 4th Street Underpass pump station was damaged due to a heavy volume of silt and water but re-opened yesterday providing the critical connection between EV and Victoria Park.
St. Patrick’s Island and Bridge received the full force of the flooding.floodingFloods are part of the life of an island, and our master plan vision and development design reflects this. The island was just two weeks into a two-year construction program, so no construction had begun and further assessments to the island, our master plan and construction timeline will be made this month.
The St. Patrick’s Bridge was in the final stages of its completion. However, in the absence of a cabling/tension system being complete, the bridge structure was not at full strength and not protected from the extreme water pressure of the flood. The construction timeline for St. Patrick’s Bridge will be adjusted by one year.
The National Music Centre - at the corner of 4th Street SE and 9 Ave - broke ground in February, 2013. Work had begun to on excavating and shoring and the site did fill with water during the flood. The site has now been pumped and is drying! Work crews have been on site all week to assess any damage. We are not expecting any delays to the construction timeline.
Our Hilton Hotel project was not affected at all. The construction timeline has not changed and the project will break ground in early 2015.
All in all, our planning and flood proofing has paid off. The vision for East Village is intact. Our resolve is unwavering. And our pride at the efforts of our neighbours and our community knows no bounds. Best of all, Stampede has begun. Come hell or high water, we’re here.