Drilling begins for new natural swimming ponds at Millennium
Ground has finally been broken for the $1.2-million natural swimming pond feature at Millennium Park. Yesterday saw crews undertaking the first step in construction – digging the well which will feed the ponds with fresh water, a task that should be completed this afternoon (Thursday).
“We've blocked off the playground area for safety,” said civic works director Chris Barlow, “But the walkway itself is open.”
Barlow said the well is literally the source of the project, providing source water for the ponds, and the next step will be to flow-test the well.
“The actual construction of the ponds is out to tender right now, with the tender closing March 11,” he said. “The city anticipates a disruption to the path system during construction, and we'll notify the public as to what that will look like when the tender is closed.
“To build the ponds we will require large amounts of gravel which will be taken from the area around the pedestrian bridge and the old borrow pit. It is likely that all or parts of the southern end of the Millennium Walkway will need to be closed during the hauling period (mid march to end of April).”
City councillor Kevin Chernoff said the really good news is that the feature should be open for public use as soon as July of this summer.
“It's been three years since (the idea) first came up in a round of public meetings,” he said, explaining the long process included redesigning the feature to allow for possible future flooding like the city saw last summer. “I'm ecstatic to finally see some concrete action down there, and to know we'll actually be able to use it this year is terrific.”
Watch The Source for further updates on walkway closures and the opening of the new recreational water feature.