Wellington Crescent Riverbank, Path, and Roadway Project

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Introduction

The City of Winnipeg (the City) is currently investigating how best to protect City infrastructure and preserve the south bank of the Assiniboine River on Wellington Crescent between Assiniboine Park and Doncaster Street. Stabilizing the bank is necessary to protect underground utilities and the nearby path and road from further riverbank failure.

Various options to manage riverbank related risks will be evaluated to determine the best approach for protecting City assets and amenities.


Background

In the summer of 2016, cracks appeared in the walk bike path along Wellington Crescent near Lamont Boulevard. The City was monitoring the area and found that the cracking was caused by riverbank movement. The riverbank movement continued to worsen, and in July 2017 the riverbank failed. The walk bike path was closed for safety reasons and a temporary gravel detour was built along the north curb of Wellington Crescent. The riverbank monitoring also identified potential risks to the path and street at other locations within the project area.

In September 2018, the City began investigating solutions for the project area. The Wellington Crescent Riverbank, Path, and Roadway Project seeks to:

  • Protect the streets, paths, lighting and underground utilities from the impacts of ongoing erosion and movement by stabilizing the riverbank or relocating infrastructure out of high risk zones
  • Preserve the riverbank with erosion protection and stability improvements along the south bank of the Assiniboine River
  • Restore the damaged walk bike path or construct a new paved path in a different location along Wellington Crescent

Introduction

The City of Winnipeg (the City) is currently investigating how best to protect City infrastructure and preserve the south bank of the Assiniboine River on Wellington Crescent between Assiniboine Park and Doncaster Street. Stabilizing the bank is necessary to protect underground utilities and the nearby path and road from further riverbank failure.

Various options to manage riverbank related risks will be evaluated to determine the best approach for protecting City assets and amenities.


Background

In the summer of 2016, cracks appeared in the walk bike path along Wellington Crescent near Lamont Boulevard. The City was monitoring the area and found that the cracking was caused by riverbank movement. The riverbank movement continued to worsen, and in July 2017 the riverbank failed. The walk bike path was closed for safety reasons and a temporary gravel detour was built along the north curb of Wellington Crescent. The riverbank monitoring also identified potential risks to the path and street at other locations within the project area.

In September 2018, the City began investigating solutions for the project area. The Wellington Crescent Riverbank, Path, and Roadway Project seeks to:

  • Protect the streets, paths, lighting and underground utilities from the impacts of ongoing erosion and movement by stabilizing the riverbank or relocating infrastructure out of high risk zones
  • Preserve the riverbank with erosion protection and stability improvements along the south bank of the Assiniboine River
  • Restore the damaged walk bike path or construct a new paved path in a different location along Wellington Crescent

  

Recommended Design

The City completed a Functional Design and Options Assessment phase in winter 2018/19, which looked at several different overall strategies to improve riverbank stability and protect the streets, pathways, lighting and underground utilities from the impacts of ongoing erosion and riverbank movement. Strategy 2 was selected as  the recommended design and presented to adjacent property owners and stakeholders in spring 2019.

The project scope was expanded to include the development and evaluation of an additional  concept that would involve closing parts of Wellington Crescent to vehicles in the study area (generally between Doncaster Street and Assiniboine Park). Closing parts of Wellington Crescent to vehicles was raised at the stakeholder meeting as a possible solution warranting further investigation and discussed at the adjacent property owner meeting in spring 2019. A partial closure may eliminate the need to relocate significant  sections of Wellington Crescent, reduce riverbank stabilization costs, reduce traffic volumes and noise along the route, reduce tree removal, and provide enhanced cycling and pedestrian opportunities along the riverbank.

To better understand the impacts of a partial closure, the City conducted a traffic study and developed five conceptual designs to evaluate the feasibility of closing parts of Wellington Crescent to vehicles. The study used data collected on-site and through previous traffic counts to provide an understanding of the existing conditions and traffic forecasts to 2029. 

Some of the ideas that were considered included closing specific segments of Wellington Crescent, or converting segments of the street to a one-way street or lane. The study also considered other factors including, but not limited to, impacts to current and future road users, impacts to visitors of Assiniboine Park and the Rady Jewish Community Campus, impacts to traffic flow on other regional and local streets, access to properties, and access for emergency vehicles.     

Some of the drawbacks identified in the traffic study included:

  • Existing at-risk infrastructure including outfalls, roadway segments, pathways, and surface drain pipes would still require riverbank protection in every closure scenario.
  • There would be unacceptable traffic volumes along Doncaster Street in all closure scenarios, exceeding the recommended range for this type of roadway. 
  • The Rady JCC generates unique traffic from drop-offs, pick-ups, and a signalized pedestrian crosswalk that further complicates traffic flow along Doncaster Street.
  • There would be unacceptable traffic volumes along Chataway Boulevard in some closure scenarios, exceeding the recommended range for this type of roadway.
  • The intersection of Chataway Boulevard, Nanton Boulevard, and Tuxedo Avenue is not geometrically suited to accommodate the projected increase in traffic.

The City also explored constructing a retaining wall to eliminate the need to relocate significant sections of Wellington Crescent. However, the retaining wall would exceed the approved project budget and cause major disruptions to the riverbank including removal of all trees along the riverbank in that section.

Due to these concerns, the City will not be pursuing a partial closure to Wellington Crescent or a retaining wall, and has updated the recommended design based on feedback from the spring 2019 meetings. For more information on the traffic study, please see the June 1, 2020 presentation.


Updated Recommended Design - June 2020

The recommended design will involve placing riprap, and stabilizing the riverbank with a shear key at several locations. The design also involves relocating a section of Wellington Crescent and the walk bike path to the south between Doncaster Street and Grenfell Boulevard.

More information on the strategies from the Functional Design and Options Assessment phase in winter 2018/19 can be found below.


Strategies

The Functional Design and Options Assessment phase in winter 2018/19 looked at several different overall strategies to improve riverbank stability and protect the streets, pathways, lighting and underground utilities from the impacts of ongoing erosion and riverbank movement. Strategy 2 was selected as  the recommended design. The project team considered a number of factors when recommending Strategy 2, including those shown in the figure below. Factors in yellow are most desirable.


Strategy Evaluation

The recommended design is not final.