Thursday, October 22, 2015

Elbow River Pedestrian Bridges – finishing touches complete

Three pedestrian bridges in the neighbourhoods of Rideau/Roxboro, Elbow Park and Britannia damaged beyond repair in the flood of 2013 were rebuilt in record time by The City of Calgary. They re-opened to the public ahead of schedule in November 2014.

Now, all of the finishing touches on the bridge are complete, such as landscaping, which was completed in the spring and summer of 2015. And, during September, the final finishing touches – the panels commemorating the old bridges at each bridge entrance - were installed.

“When the bridges opened to the public in November of 2014, the commemorative panels were not ready, so temporary panels were installed,” explains Michael Thompson, the director of Transportation Infrastructure at The City. “Now that the landscaping is done and the final panels have been put in place, the project is truly complete.”

Calgarians can expect the new bridges to last for at least 100 years. They also have special features to help them withstand any damage from future floods.

“The new bridges were designed to be flood resilient,” says Thompson.  “The bridge decks are higher than the old bridges, which allows a greater volume of water to flow underneath. The concrete bridge decks can withstand debris impacts, and the bridge supports are armoured with rock. In general, the bridges are much more durable because they were built to today’s engineering standards, which were much different from when the first bridge was built in 1934.”

When the bridges were first damaged in the 2013 flood, residents and other Calgarians said they wanted their bridges back as quickly as possible. The City delivered on that, re-opening the bridges just 18 months after the flood, a process that usually takes two to three years.

View more photos of the finished bridges at

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