The city has identified portions of Colliery Dam Park that will be closed to the public as the city prepares with the removal of the lower and middle colliery dams and the work required to rebuild them.
On May 13 city council voted to remove both dams this summer and rebuild them in the future after an inundation study performed by the province suggested a threat to human life should the dams fail.
“The removal of the lower and middle colliery dams will involve the use of heavy equipment and machinery, so keeping people out of harm’s way during the removal and replacement process is important,” said Mayor John Ruttan in a release. “With the exception of those areas where construction is occurring or hazardous conditions are present, at this time our intention is to keep as much of the park open as possible.”
Designated areas of the park will be marked closed with signage and fencing while other areas will remain available for continued use.
Two viewing areas are planned for park users interested in observing construction associated with the dams’ removal and replacement.
In addition, the parking lot on the corner of Sixth Street and Wakesiah Avenue will be made available for public gatherings.
At least one group has suggested there will be protests at the park over the controversial project.
The mayor said the city respects the public’s right to protest but that safety is paramount.
“While the dams are being removed and replaced on account of the identified threat they currently present to public safety, the city respects our residents’ rights to lawful assembly and freedom of speech,” said Ruttan. “Our construction plan therefore contains designated areas that enable gatherings to occur. Two marked locations allowing direct lines of sight to the construction area are also planned.”