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12 Street S.E. Bridge replacement project

Project update - April 7, 2016

Zoo Road closed

From now until September 2016, vehicles will still be able to access St Patrick’s Island and The Zoo's Administration Building via the 12 Street Bridge S.E. However, there is no access from Zoo Road to Memorial Drive. See the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project for information on Zoo Road and pathway closures.

Construction update

  • Preliminary work will begin in early April to create berms in the river near the north and south ends of the bridge. The berms will create a building platform to support construction of the supports for the new bridge. The berm construction work must be done before April 30 in order to respect the Restricted Activity Period for working in the Bow River.
  • A construction contractor will be hired soon to begin work on the project to replace the 12 Street S.E. Bridge, starting with building the bridge foundations. Once a contractor is on board, a construction schedule will be determined and communicated.
  • Construction should begin in the spring of 2016* and the new bridge will open in late 2017*.
*Construction schedules are very dependent on weather and site conditions and can change.

Pathway closures

  • Utility relocation work is completed on the pathway on the south side of the river, but the pathway will remain closed. Because bridge construction work will begin soon starting with construction of berms in the river, the pathway will remain closed.
  • Large trucks and other construction vehicles will be moving in and out of the area.
  • See the Zoo Flood Project web page  for maps of pathway closures and detours.
  • Pathway closures are implemented when they are necessary for construction. The detour must be along a sidewalk for pedestrians or along a roadway for cyclists. Therefore, during the next stage of bridge construction (berm work), the detour will start at 8 Street S.E. and continue to New Street.
  • Once a construction contractor has been hired, they will review the closures they need for construction.
  • The detour east from the 12 Street S.E. Bridge will be reviewed at this time and may be changed. The detour around the section from 8 Street to 12 Street S.E. will remain in place until construction is complete

Tree removals

See the FAQ about tree removals relating to the 12 Street S.E. Bridge project and the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project.

Bridge design selected for new 12 Street S.E. Bridge

The new bridge design to replace the existing 12 Street S.E. Bridge was presented at an Information Session on Wed., Dec. 2, 2015. See the twodrawings of the new bridge design.

Project background

The 12 Street S.E. Bridge spans the Bow River on the south side of St. George’s Island and is in need of replacement due to its age and deteriorated physical condition. The bridge, constructed in 1908, was originally designed to carry horse and buggy, as well as pedestrian traffic to St. George’s Island. Now it is an important link for vehicles and people on foot or bikes, which provides access to and from 9 Avenue S.E. to Memorial Drive and points south. A new bridge will ensure this important link is maintained for the next 100 years.

Project scope

The bridge will be replaced starting in 2016 with a new structure that will:

  • Provide two lanes for vehicle traffic with adequate lane widths, which could accommodate emergency vehicles and future Transit, and increase safety generally.
  • Be flood resistant.
  • Provide pedestrian/cycling access across the bridge and incorporate into existing pathway on the north and south ends of the bridge.
  • Be easier to maintain and will last for a long period of time (100 years).
  • Incorporate an historical/commemorative component recognizing the old bridge design.
  • Continue to provide access into the Zoo’s Administration area parking lot and building.


  • Preliminary design - fall 2015*
  • Detailed Design - winter 2016*
  • Construction - spring 2016*
  • Completion - winter 2017*

*Construction is very dependent on weather and site conditions. More information will be provided on updated timelines, but dates can change.


$19 million

Related project – 9 Avenue S.E. Bridge

The 9 Avenue S.E. Bridge will also be replaced because of age and condition issues, but construction will not begin until the 12 Street S.E. Bridge Project and the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project are completed. Anticipated construction start is 2018. Visit the project web page for more information.


The City of Calgary will communicate with the public and impacted businesses about the construction before it begins and on an ongoing basis throughout construction. The web page will be the primary source for updated information.

More information

Please fill out the online form if you have questions or require more information.

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