Well-travelled Calgary bridge reopens to vehicle traffic following replacement

Feb 28 2022, 11:52 pm

The project to replace the 9th Avenue SE bridge in Calgary reached a major milestone this week.

The bridge connects Calgary’s first “main street,” Inglewood, with East Village, and it reopened to vehicle traffic on Monday, February 28.

The original, well-travelled bridge was 110 years old and had reached the end of its lifespan when the City of Calgary began the replacement project in 2019.

The project includes components such as adding cycling and pedestrian pathways on both the north and south sides, supporting transit improvements in the area, and adding a fourth vehicle lane so that it can accommodate traffic flow for the next 100 years, including a possible high-occupancy vehicle and/or transit lane.

The updated bridge draws inspiration from the original architecture while integrating modern design standards. A press release from the City of Calgary says that the new structure will improve flood resiliency, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance cycling and walking connections.

“We know that folks in the community have been eagerly awaiting the new bridge and we are thrilled to be able to now open for drivers,” says project manager Evan Fer. “We thank Calgarians for their patience, and we look forward to our next milestone of welcoming pedestrians and cyclists onto the bridge later this spring.”

Construction isn’t quite complete, and initially the bridge will have just one lane open in each direction, offering a similar level of service to the existing temporary bridge. The City says that additional lanes will open later in the spring, allowing for improved service for Calgary Transit and motorists.

Removal of the temporary bridge, which helped to maintain traffic connections over the Elbow River, will be completed in spring 2022.

According to the City of Calgary, with this milestone achieved, work will now focus on preparing the structure’s north and south multi-use pathways to open for cyclists and pedestrians, along with landscaping the area surrounding the bridge.

It’s important to note that existing pedestrian detours will remain in place until the new pathways are complete.

The old bridge is an important part of Calgary’s history, and the City is preserving it in a number of ways, including installing four historical images of the old bridge along the pathway’s barriers and using the old pedestrian railings within the newly designed and opened Mills Park.

More information about the 9th Avenue SE bridge replacement project can be found on the City’s website.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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