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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

City unveils design for Peace Bridge

The City has unveiled the design for Peace Bridge which will be Calgary's newest pedestrian bridge into the downtown core. The bridge will be built over the Bow River west of Prince's Island Park - connecting the Hillhurst-Sunnyside and Eau Claire areas. Copyrighted images of the design are available from The City's website.

Peace Bridge was designed by award-winning architect Santiago Calatrava, who was selected as a result of his past design work and The City's desire to create a unique landmark while meeting the functional needs and environmental goals for the project. Santiago Calatrava LLC Architects and Engineers will be working with local firm Stantec to design, engineer and manage the construction of the bridge. The construction, environmental review and landscaping work will be issued for competitive tender.

As with any City project, the environmental impact played a key role in the design of the bridge. To reduce impacts on the Bow River, the bridge is designed as a single span structure - without any piers in the river.

There's no doubt that there's a need for an additional bridge into the downtown core: more than 13,000 pedestrians and cyclists cross the Bow River into the downtown core every day. If these commuters were in cars rather than on the pathways, The City would need two additional lanes of traffic during the morning commute.

Upon completion, the new bridge is expected to handle 5,000 pedestrians and cyclists daily, which is 1.3 million people a year. By 2025, more than 60,000 additional employees are forecast to be working in the downtown core with the number of Calgarians living in the downtown core expected to double to 60,000.

Funding to build the bridge comes from the Province's Municipal Sustainability Initiative, which is a 10-year funding commitment to enable municipalities to meet the demands of growth.

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