Thursday, September 23, 2010

Steel in Transit for Calgary's Santiago Calatrava Peace Bridge

This weekend the first shipment of Peace Bridge components will arrive in Calgary.  A truck carrying steel elements for the bridge is tentatively scheduled to arrive at the construction site late Friday evening.  As an oversized load, the truck is limited in its travel to after 9 p.m.  This is the first of 16 shipments to be delivered. The remainder of components will be delivered at regular intervals over the next several weeks with the last elements arriving by the end of October.

Once components arrive, the contractor will begin bridge assembly with plans to work around the clock.  The City of Calgary is working to minimize disruptions to citizens adjacent residents have been informed of the upcoming activities.

Assembly of the components will take place on a platform within the construction zone.  A temporary shelter will be used to create an appropriate work environment for welding, painting and other activities.  The bridge will be moved to the temporary bridge and then launched into its final position later this year.  It is anticipated the Peace Bridge will be complete by late January 2011.

Here are some images of prefabricated pieces of the Peace Bridge by architect Santiago Calatrava.

This is a press release, issued from Calatrava’s Public Relations firm.


New York, NY (September 23, 2010) – The highly anticipated steel for Santiago Calatrava’s signature Peace Bridge has begun its journey from Spain to its new home in Calgary. Within the next few weeks, the vibrant red steel will arrive on site where construction will begin, transforming the massive pieces of metal into a twisting helix shaped bridge.

Best known for his soaring vertical icons, Calatrava opted to design a low single-span bridge for Calgary; a structurally and aesthetically unique choice for the renowned architect and engineer. It is also a highly technical design.  Unlike most bridges, the Peace Bridge was designed without supporting piers in the riverbed, a decision made to minimize impact on the surrounding environment.  The result is a tubular structure whose sculptural appearance generates a striking, contrast with the landscape. 

Upon completion, workers will slide the Peace Bridge across the Bow River and lower it onto its final position, providing a major link between regional pathways of Memorial Drive and Calgary’s downtown area. Calgary’s new landmark will not only serve as a leisurely passageway for pedestrians, bikers and joggers, it will also accommodate the increasing number of people commuting to and from work with a sustainable method of transportation. Taking into account the extreme elements of Calgary weather, Calatrava enclosed the bridge, filling its upper openings with glazed leaves bent to the same shape as the exterior of the helix form.

“Although the design of the Peace Bridge has been challenging, it is one that I am extremely proud of,” said Santiago Calatrava. “My goal was to pay homage to the citizens of Calgary by providing them with a structure of beauty and I hope that the Peace Bridge will be enjoyed for many generations to come.”

The Peace Bridge, which is expected to slide into its final position in October, is one of many urban-oriented projects that the renowned architect is currently working on. 

Over the summer, Calatrava announced his commission to design a sustainably-focused museum in Rio de Janeiro, as part of an ambitious urban revitalization project. He also unveiled his design for Denver International Airport’s South Terminal Redevelopment Program, which will include the construction of a signature rail bridge, a terminal train station, a 500-room hotel and conference center and a multi-function civic plaza complete with retail and concessions. In September 2009, Calatrava’s Liege-Guillemins TGV Railway Station opened in Belgium; a project that has since become a prominent symbol of Liege’s renewal.

Santiago Calatrava’s name has been most closely associated with his celebrated designs of bridges and transportation centers built throughout the world. Highlights of his work include designs for: The Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin (2001), the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (2004), the Light Rail Train Bridge in Jerusalem (2007) the Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande in Venice (2008) and the Liège-Guillemins TGV Railway Station in Belgium (2009). He is currently working on a variety of design and construction projects throughout the world including: The World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York; the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas; the expansion of the Denver International Airport; The Peace Bridge in Calgary; Città dello Sport, Rectorate and Campus Master Plan for Roma II University in Tor Vergata, Italy and Yuan Zen University in Taiwan.

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