A large portion of the previously closed Mill Woods Skate Park reopened Friday afternoon.
An initial assessment of the park occurred in the fall of 2014. The findings of that report showed severe surface damage, and in the interest of public safety, the park was closed until a final assessment could be completed and a repair/rehabilitation plan could be put in place.
The final assessment of the park occurred Friday morning and it revealed the extent of the damage. The damage was caused by the freeze-thaw cycle and drainage issues which resulted in heaving, creating an uneven surface, severe cracks and missing pieces of concrete. Skater safety is the primary concern, and the most affected areas of the park will remain closed.
The damaged areas within the park will be repaired. A date to reopen the entire park has not yet been determined, but this means a temporary skate facility is no longer required. Public consultations will still be held this summer regarding the renewal of this popular park.
For more information please contact:
Gary Chung at 780-442-5421
Terri Johnson, 780-442-0690
Staff conduct regular inspections of all City-maintained skate parks and also perform regular routine/minor repairs to the surfaces to ensure they are safe for use.
- Over the last several years we have begun noticing an increase in the scope and severity of the surface damage (i.e. cracking and heaving)
- Given the ‘specialized ‘ nature of these structures we recognized the need to bring in expertise to assess the continuing escalation of the problems and offer solutions. Our current capacity and expertise can only do minor surface repairs which are becoming increasingly less effective and increasing in costs.
- We consulted our in house structural engineers to provide an assessment in Sept. 2013.
- The following is taken from that assessment.
o The entire park is cast slab on grade leaving it susceptible to ground movement typically caused by changing moisture conditions in the clay below and seasonal heaving associated with the ground freezing
o The park will continue to move. This cannot be prevented. The cracks that have developed will continue to grow and multiply. Annual (or possible bi-annual) repairs is all that can be done to manage the deterioration. Given the size of the park and the complexities associated with repairing all of the varying types of surfaces (horizontal, vertical, curved, transitioning) and the need for expert concrete finishing it is difficult to be exact as to how far money will go in making the necessary repairs.
- Subsequent to that we identified additionalfunding in our 2015-18 Playspace Conservation Capital budget to address the increased maintenance costs expected and also allocated funding to hire “expertise’ in skate park design/ maintenance to conduct an assessment of all our sites.
- Newline Skateparks was hired in fall 2014 to conduct assessments of all of the City’s skate parks.
- Preliminary results in October 2014 on the Mill Woods site recommended that due to severe surface issues we consider closing this facility until the bowl can be ‘replaced’ or significantly improved.
- We began the process of establishing an action plan for an impending closure in the spring of 2015 and as well as the process for the redesign and rehabilitation of the site based on final recommendations which are expected after a followup inspection scheduled for April 10, 2015.
- On February 5, 2015, staff informed the Mill Woods President Council of the pending work, and while they were disappointed with the skatepark needing to close, they understood the need to ensure the safety of users.
- Advice from Risk Management to address safety concerns has been implemented to restrict access to the site until it can be repaired. This included communication, signage and fencing. We are also looking at roving patrols from Park Rangers to discourage use of the site.