Autumn is great time for a walk in the park to see the leaves change colour. But if you plan on walking alongside Wilket Creek be prepared for trail closures.
Emergency work is underway in Wilket Creek Park in order to deal with some of problems caused by flooding in the area.
“There was a lot of storm damage from significant rainfall events and it was causing damage to foot bridges in the park and pathways,” said Moranne McDonnell, a senior manager at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. “There’s a lot more water in that creek than there used to be so the bridges are considered to be undersized at some locations.”
According to McDonnell, the city has spent millions of dollars in repairs to the park’s bridges and trails. It has now paid $300,000 to Parish Geomorphic, an environmental consulting firm which completed an environmental assessment of the area in June.
The firm is currently rebuilding two bridges and moving the trail further away from the creek. It’s also altering the course of the creek and widening and reinforcing its sides in order to reduce the affects of erosion.
“We want to make sure that channel erosion isn’t going to take out the trail, that the channel erosion isn’t going to lead to the failure of the bridges,” said Parish Geomorphic’s preident John Parish. “There will still be some flooding and that’s necessary and that’s natural, but what we hope to do is when it floods it won’t cause as much damage.”
The sewer line near two of the older bridges intensified erosion and caused the sewer underneath the creek to become exposed.
“One of our big things is trying to make sure that wherever our new pedestrian bridges may be, that they’re not on top of the sanitary sewer,” said Parish.
The first phase of the construction took place this spring when the sanitary sewer was encased in cement. The ongoing second phase is scheduled to be complete in November, weather permitting. The conservation authority said signage will be placed at entrances to Wilket Creek Park to notify users of any trail closures.
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