Robert Service Way Escarpment Update #11

Update at 5 pm — As a result of unanticipated movement observed late this afternoon by the slope scanner, the decision to move to 24/7 has been postponed. Robert Service Way, along with the Millennium Trail will be closed tonight at 7PM. Crews will reassess conditions in the morning to determine if Robert Service Way is safe to reopen as scheduled on Friday at 7 am.

Update at 3 pm — Starting today, Robert Service Way will remain open to traffic on a 24/7 basis.

This reopening is the result of extensive work by City crews and our geotechnical experts. The City will continue to monitor the escarpment to ensure conditions remain safe. Existing safety precautions including the berm, jersey barriers, slope scanner and sensor equipment will remain in place for the time being.

As conditions continue to improve, an additional closure of Robert Service Way will be scheduled to remove the berm and relocate the concrete barriers located in the road right-of-way. These features were always intended to be a temporary solution using discarded material from the slope. Leaving it in place would constrict traffic flow in the area and require extensive work to maintain. The City will provide notice when this work is scheduled and limit the work to off-peak hours as much as possible.

While the situation can still change, the risks have been mitigated as much as possible. The Millennium Trail will also be open to users. Unfortunately, remaining trails including those in the area of Drury Street and along the lower escarpment Downtown will remain closed. As seen last year, moisture can continue to move north through freshet which can cause subsequent slides. Trail users are asked to respect trail closures and fencing.

Landslides along the escarpment and Robert Service Way are now a regular occurrence and spring closures should be expected annually until a permanent solution can be found. While the City is now exploring a long-term solution for the escarpment along Robert Service Way, any solution that could stabilize the slope would constitute a major project for our City and require extensive design.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre remains partially-activated but is expected to demobilize as early as next week.

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