Work is underway to remove the iconic Olympic arch in Eau Claire Plaza, but the City of Calgary says the structure will be back eventually.
In a Wednesday news release, the city said the Olympic arch will be “featured prominently” once a $25 million redevelopment of the area is complete.
It’s hoped the redevelopment will make the area more useable year-round and more accessible for residents and visitors. It also serves as a chance to re-grade the plaza area to protect the area against future flooding, the city said.
The Olympic arch was created in 1987, and the city said it signifies the feeling of excitement and renewal for Calgary as residents prepared to host the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
The arch is being removed so the ground below it can be raised to a height that would protect against future flooding.
The city said it will be safely preserved in storage until it can be reinstalled close to its original location.
Demolition work in the Eau Claire area has been underway since May.
The next step is for city officials to move the Eau Claire Lumber Company building to a temporary location so they can restore it and reintegrate it into the new plaza design.
The city said the building will be repurposed to “support programming and functionality of the plaza,” and that it plans to use as many existing elements as possible to limit the amount of waste.
“Paving stone from the plaza have been salvaged and will be reused at parks around the city,” project manager Dennis Hoffart said.
“Lumber from trees that were removed from the plaza will be used to construct architectural elements of the new design including benches and tables. Others have been used to restore flower beds on Princes Island Park and to improve fish habitat in the river system.”
The City of Calgary said the windmill from the Eau Claire splash park that was put up for sale last month was sold and removed from the area on Aug. 11.
“The new owner plans to install the windmill in a new dinosaur adventure park next to the Royal Tyrell Museum,” a news release stated.
Construction of the Eau Claire Plaza is set to take approximately two to three years, with portions opening to the public as they’re completed.
To learn more about Eau Claire Plaza and the Eau Claire Area Improvement Program, please visit calgary.ca/eauclaire.
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