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Centre Street Bridge flood barrier


Project Overview

The Centre Street Bridge has been an iconic fixture over the Bow River for over 100 years. During the 2013 flood the bridge proved to be a breach point for water into the downtown core. To help reduce the flood risk to downtown Calgary, The City will install a flood barrier (stop-log system) on the lower deck of the bridge.

Partial funding for the Centre Street Bridge flood barrier project has been granted through the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP) as part of the overall City of Calgary Flood Mitigation and Resilience Program.

This project will provide flood defense for adjacent communities and will help protect citizens and infrastructure for years to come.

Flooding into downtown in June 2013 via the lower Centre Street Bridge

Construction Impacts

We completed the first phase of construction on the lower deck of the Centre Street Bridge. The project will be finished entirely at the end of October. The work we have left includes:

  • Electrical work on the upper deck. There will be some periodic one lane closures during off-peak hours in October.
  • Two metal sheds to be installed near the lower deck, which will block off the corner of one lane during off-peak hours, if needed.
  • Installation of an earth berm (raised ground) for flood protection in the southeast corner.
  • Commissioning of the stop log system at the end of October, which will be one three-day weekend closure.

Otherwise, the lower deck remains fully open.

Visit the Calgary traffic and roads closure report for up-to-date lane closures and traffic impacts. We appreciate your understanding about the detours caused by this important flood project that will protect you and our infrastructure, and apologize for the inconvenience.

There are a few reasons why this work needs to be completed now:

  • We wanted to get it started while traffic is still low in the summer, before kids go back to school and people return from their vacations.
  • The provincial funding for this project runs out at the end of the year, so we couldn't push it to 2019.
  • As temperatures get colder, it becomes impossible to get the concrete work done.

We recognize that the nearby Reconciliation Bridge rehabilitation project also serves as an inconvenience, but as Reconciliation Bridge rehabilitation is occurring for several months, we could not help the overlap with this project. To minimize impacts, we are working evening and weekend shifts as much as possible.

Area closures and detours

Centre Street Detour map

Click images to download files

Project details

During construction, concrete foundations with embedded anchors for each stop-log gate will be installed at each end of the lower Centre Street Bridge deck (roadway). Attachment points will be installed on the concrete bridge supports adjacent to the roadway.

During normal traffic flow, vehicles can drive on the concrete foundations, which are flush to the roadway.

The aluminum stop-log components will be stored on site in sheds. During a flood event, City staff will install the posts and aluminum stop-logs to erect the two temporary gates and block the flood waters.

Similar technology has been used to temporarily block the openings during a flood on the newly constructed zoo flood barrier and downtown west Eau Claire flood barriers.

The Centre Street Bridge lower deck flood barrier is one component of a larger flood mitigation plan for the Downtown Core that includes the West Eau Claire flood barrier and the Eau Claire Promenade flood barrier. The West Eau Claire park flood barrier extends from the Peace Bridge to Eau Claire Plaza and will be complete this fall. The Eau Claire Promenade barrier extends from Eau Claire Plaza, through the Centre Street Bridge, to Reconciliation Bridge and is currently in design with anticipated completion in 2021. Details on each of these projects can be found on the Eau Claire Public Realm Plan page.

Installation of aluminum stop-logs to temporarily block the opening in the west Eau Claire flood barrier
Completed installation of stop-logs to temporarily block the parking lot opening in the zoo flood barrier

Project Timeline

Work is expected to be completed by the end of October.

PCL has been chosen as construction manager for this project. In addition to lower deck construction activities, electrical maintenance on the upper level of Centre Street Bridge will occur during this timeframe, as well as construction of a small earth berm at the south east corner.