Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa's Spring Floods Put Last Round of Repairs to the Test

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa's Spring Floods Put Last Round of Repairs to the Test

Article excerpt

Latest Ottawa floods put 2017 repairs to the test


OTTAWA - A new round of repairs is in store for pathways around Parliament Hill, after the second major flood in three years.

Water levels on the Ottawa River remain a metre above normal and crews working for the National Capital Commission are just beginning to assess the damage to infrastructure near the Ottawa River.

The Crown corporation responsible for federal land in the capital region -- including along the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal, 24 Sussex Drive and Rideau Hall -- spent about $6 million on repairs after the last flood, keeping some popular tourist paths closed for many months for extensive reconstruction.

Some repairs to pathways on the Quebec side of the river weren't finished by the time the second damaging flood came this spring.

"Cleanup has already begun, inspections have begun, so we're hoping to reopen them as soon as possible. We're hoping it's not going to take a year for these," said Dominique Huras, a spokesperson for the commission.

Some social-media images from a river pathway in Gatineau, Que., across from Parliament show warped and washed-out asphalt, which Huras said was from an incompletely repaired portion of the pathway.

She said artificial rock formations installed along the river to protect against erosion after flooding two years ago seem to have held, at least along that portion of the pathway. But the rocks may not be the key factor in determining how much repair the area will need.

"That's not the resilient part of it, it's the vegetation that's there that's supposed to absorb and protect," Huras said. "The problem is that vegetation takes about three to four years to sink its roots so that it won't get washed away."

The three stages of repairs and upgrades the NCC undertook on pathways near the river gives them an opportunity to see how their higher standards withstood this year's flooding, Huras said. …

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