Lyndale Drive Park Erosion Protection and Riverbank Access
Lyndale Drive Park follows the east bank of the Red River and is known for its scenic views. However, riverbank erosion has been steadily eating away at the edges of the park, with over 15 percent of the park area being lost since the neighbourhood was established in the late 1950s.
This project will address riverbank erosion along the park between Birchdale Avenue and Highfield Street. Subject to funding, the project will include construction of a riverbank access path that will allow park visitors to get to the edge of the water. To improve connectivity between the park and the neighbourhood, additional paths will connect to Lyndale Drive as well as to the sidewalk network at Cedar Place and Larchwood Place.
Lyndale Drive is designated as a portion of the City’s primary line of defense, which serves an important role in the City’s flood protection strategy. This project will ensure it continues to protect the city and serve neighbourhood residents in the long-term.
- This project site has been identified in the City of Winnipeg’s Capital Budget as one of the top priorities for riverbank improvements. This is based on evaluations done as part of the City of Winnipeg’s Riverbank Asset Management System.
- The Lyndale Drive site is considered a high priority because of the high rate of erosion, which is steadily reducing the park area between the river and road.
- Without intervention, the receding bank will impact the paths, benches and eventually Lyndale Drive itself.
- While the design phase is not complete, it is expected that the solution will consist of a riprap blanket (large limestone pieces) installed along the riverbank to prevent erosion from the flowing river. Riverbank erosion protection will be constructed starting in early 2023.
- To address riverbank erosion, a riprap blanket extending from the winter ice level above the normal regulated summer water level will be installed. The riprap blanket will consist of quarried limestone pieces between 20 and 40 cm in size placed on top of the clay riverbank. The heavy stones will not be eroded by river flows. This work will be done in the winter of 2022/2023 when the frozen ground and lower water levels allow for better construction access.
- The proposed riverbank access will create a universally accessible ramp to the lower bank, providing the public with an opportunity to get close to the river. There may also be an opportunity to provide temporary winter access to the Nestaweya River Trail on an annual basis, subject to inspections to confirm ice conditions.
- The project design has taken into consideration the habitat of several species at risk, including: Bank Swallows, which burrow along the riverbank, and Mapleleaf Mussels, which have their habitat within the channel. Care will be taken to avoid disturbing these areas during construction.
- The City will naturalize the area between the existing park path and the riverbank. This will involve planting native grasses, shrubs and trees which will help protect the bank through the reinforcing effect of deeper root networks, and the water usage by the vegetation. The naturalized area will also provide habitat for native wildlife. Plantings will complement existing vegetation and views from the open areas of the park will be maintained.
- Other areas disturbed by the project will be restored with naturalized vegetation along the riverbank, or with sod in the main park area.
- Assessments of historic aerial photos have shown that 15 to 20 percent of the park area has been lost to riverbank processes since the 1960s. Without intervention, the loss of land to erosion will continue to the point that the existing paths, greenspace, street, and primary line of defense will be at risk.
- This project will consist of a geotechnical investigation and an analysis of the riverbank to determine soil and groundwater conditions to better understand the risk to the City. The results of the investigation will be used to evaluate and design appropriate stabilization measures.
- The project will include the construction of several new paths to provide better access between the park and the community.
- August - December 2022: engineering assessments, design and tendering
- January - March 2023: construction of riverbank works
- May - July 2023: path construction and site restoration
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Frequently Asked Questions
The City owns over 100 km of riverbank spread over 200 properties on the Red River and Assiniboine River. The Waterways branch maintains a riverbank asset management system which is used to evaluate riverbanks and help identify those that are high priority, based on the risk to public land and infrastructure. Lyndale Drive Park has been a top priority in the City’s Capital budget over the past several years. In the spring of 2022, the project received funding under the Province of Manitoba’s Disaster Prevention and Climate Change Resiliency program.
This project is being funded through the Province of Manitoba’s Disaster Prevention and Climate Change Resiliency program, which has allocated approximately $2.5 million for engineering design and construction. The City of Winnipeg is also contributing to the project by covering costs not eligible under the program.
Riverbank works are tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2023 and will take approximately 10 weeks. Path, landscaping, and restoration work will be completed in the spring and summer of 2023.
There may be some construction-related noise and traffic during riverbank works. The project team will be taking noise into consideration when planning the construction activities and schedule.
A traffic management plan will be developed to minimize traffic impacts in the area during construction. A notice will be delivered to residents prior to the start of construction outlining any changes in access to local streets and paths.
It is anticipated that some trees along the riverbank may need to be removed. Tree removal will be considered during design and will be minimized as much as possible. Replacement trees will be planted during the site restoration phase. Trees and shrubs provide numerous benefits, especially along a riverbank where they also help to reduce erosion and improve stability. As part of this project, a significant area of land on the river-side of the existing path will be naturalized and will not be mowed. More robust vegetation will grow over time and provide ecological benefits as well as help to protect the riverbank area.
Bank Swallows burrow along the riverbank and Mapleleaf Mussels have their habitat within the river channel. Care will be taken to avoid disturbing these areas during construction.
Various projects over the past 45 years have addressed segments of the riverbank along Lyndale Drive. Due to funding limitations or practical constraints, work has had to proceed in phases. This project will complete the erosion protection in the park between Birchdale Avenue and Highfield Street. This is expected to be the last major riverbank project undertaken along Lyndale Drive for the foreseeable future.
Figure 1. Project area
Figure 6. Example of riverbank that is too steep
Figure 7. Erosion gullies from overland flows
Figure 8. Erosion affecting tree roots at the downstream end of the park
Figure 9. Example of land sliding toward the river along Lyndale Drive