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Letter to the Editor - Possible Outlook SkyTrail solution?

Reader writes about the SkyTrail walking bridge in Outlook.
Photo: Derek Ruttle

Outlook's Potential Drainage Disaster

1968 was the first year of irrigation in SSRID #1 where waste water from flood irrigation was diverted into a steep draw. At years end, erosion channels in the draw ranged from 2 to 5 meters in depth. All future drains were diverted into pipelines which empty into the river. There are 3 situations in SSRID where a pipeline was installed to carry water from the top of the river bank approximately 70 m above the river, which was approximately 200 meters away.

This was exactly what the engineers hired by the town faced when they had to provide an outlet for the 21 inch diameter pipeline presently being installed east of SkyTrail. The easy solution (and the cheapest) was to continue the pipeline right to the river. The engineers designed a monstrosity of rock and concrete blocks which ended on BARE GROUND ON AN UNSTABLE SLOPE APPROXIMATELY 30 METERS ABOVE AND APPROXIMATELY 120 METERS FROM THE RIVER.

Diverting a flow of 3,000 gallons per minute onto bare ground would result in major erosion with the possibility of the water flowing southwest and ending at the river where the town pumps are located. ONLY A PIPELINE WILL SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

On May 1, 2023 I was assisted by Garry Rittinger in establishing a baseline of elevations on the East and West abutments and all the piers. On April 10, I received authorization to proceed with updated elevations on the East abutment and the first 3 piers. That survey will be completed in the near future.

I believe the engineers that recommended SkyTrail be closed because the East abutment was still moving is part of the same company that is responsible for the drainage fiasco.

Respectfully submitted,
Con Hammer
Outlook, SK