Photo-simulations Show Final Profile of Prairie Sky Site
Residents throughout the region have asked what the Prairie Sky Resource Centre site will look like when finally completed.
“Even though it is 35 years away, people understandably want to know how the final site will fit into the natural topography,” said Mike Gladstone, Project Manager. “In particular they want to know how the disposal area slope will look in relation to other features. Simply describing the height is not the same as a visual image.”
To satisfy this desire for a way to visualize the completed site, the team is using accurate photo simulations to show how the site will look from many different perspectives.
“As always, we value residents’ concerns. So we are conducting a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) to simulate how the project will look when it is completed,” said Mr. Gladstone.
To carry out the VIA, the team used a computer mapping program to generate viewsheds (areas visible to the human eye from a fixed vantage point) of the landscape. These viewsheds were mapped from different natural heights and locations on all sides of the site.
The team floated large latex helium balloons at different coordinates on the site, with the balloon heights marking the final profile of the landfill and other features. A professional then took panoramic photographs from different locations to mark out the long-term visible impact.
From these results, the team created a series of photo-simulations of what the Prairie Sky site would look like upon completion, in the context of the surrounding landscape. The simulations even allowed the team to see how a ‘screen’ of plant material would look placed around the Centre.
“Through computer mapping, balloon tests and photo-overlays, we were able to develop an excellent representation of the height and scale of the project,” said Mr. Gladstone.
The photo on this page shows a view of the final closed site from Hwy 23 at the Wilderman residence. Other views can be examined on the Prairie Sky website at www.prairieskycentre.com. Large photo blow-ups will soon be on display in the Information Centre that is under development on Railway Road in Blackie.
“These photos are very reassuring for residents and highway users, because they demonstrate that even at full capacity the site profile is far more modest than some people have suggested,” Mr. Gladstone explained. "The final disposal area slope is significantly lower than Simon’s Hill and blends in well with the pre-foothills prairie landscape.”
The Prairie Sky team encourages public concerns and questions. Feedback can be directed to the toll-free phone number (403-684-3621) or to question and comment forms available at www.prairieskycentre.com.