Calgary’s Harvie Passage is closed for flood repairs

* Update: dropping river levels have now made the passage even more dangerous, with potential for one section to act as a ‘drowning machine’ just like the original Calgary Weir. Click here to read more.

This summer, we’ve seen the city of Calgary come together and recover from June’s flooding in ways that are truly remarkable. But getting everything back to normal will take time and work – and patience.

Harvie Passage – a section of the Bow River’s Calgary Weir that is commonly used for summer kayaking and boating – was seriously damaged by the flooding. Now that we’ve had an opportunity to do a full damage assessment, we know that exposed pipes, gravel deposits, loose rocks and other damage have made the passage fundamentally unsafe to use. The passage is now closed until repairs have been completed.

Photo of Harvie Passage impacted by rising flood waters in June 2013

Harvey Passage as the waters began to rise in June – they would get a lot higher before receding

This Saturday, crews from ESRD and the Calgary Fire Department will install a safety boom barrier upstream from the passage. The boom will restrict access to the passage and warn boaters of the danger before conditions become unsafe.

Although water levels have receded and the passage might look calm and even fun, it’s not. Water in the passage is fast-moving and turbulent – even under ideal conditions, it’s only safe for very experienced boaters, and with the presence of exposed obstacles and debris, it’s not safe for anyone. Please stay off the water – gambling your safety for a quick thrill just isn’t worth it.

Harvie Passage will re-open once repairs have been completed – you can bookmark our closures webpage for updates or check back here for the latest news.

Check out the first few seconds of this video to see how turbulent the Harvie Passage can be – even when conditions are ideal:

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