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9 Avenue S.E. Bridge replacement project

Project update - May 31, 2019

Replacing 9 Avenue S.E. bridge - Temporary bridge is taking shape

Crews are busy constructing the new temporary bridge, which is scheduled to open in early July. Traffic will move from the current bridge to the temporary bridge, once it's open.

Now that the noisy piling work is completed, we are focusing work on constructing the temporary bridge girders (you can see the construction, just west of the river) and the pier bases along the river banks.

The consultant is also working on the future historical interpretation features for the 110-year-old 9 Avenue S.E. bridge. These features will be placed in and around the new bridge. We gathered a lot of feedback from previous engagements in 2018 and will have a few options on how best to honor the 9 Avenue S.E. bridge. There will be an opportunity for you to help us choose the best way to pay tribute to the current historical bridge. More information will be coming in June about these historical features and how you can participate.

Finally, thank you for your patience with the pathway detour that's currently in place. We're working in a tight, constrained space and can appreciate there are impacts to the people travelling through and enjoying the area.

Pathway detour

The pathway detour signs are in place with maps onsite to help people travel around the construction area. If you have any questions about the work underway or what's to come, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Weight restriction in place on bridge

As a precautionary measure, trucks heavier than 5 tonnes (ll,000 lbs) will no longer be allowed to use the bridge. We have also closed one lane of traffic to further reduce weight on the bridge.

Once the temporary bridge opens this summer, we expect to remove the current weight restriction.

You can find more details about the weight restrictions in the Frequently Asked Questions section.


Project scope

Construction on a new bridge begins in 2019. The new bridge will continue to connect citizens and visitors over the Elbow River for another 100 years:

  • Adds cycling and pedestrian pathways on both north and south sides
  • Supports transit improvements in the area
  • Includes a fourth vehicle lane so it can accommodate traffic flow for the next 100 years, including a possible HOV and/or Transit lane.
  • Ensures a safe emergency route across the Elbow River
  • Meets current design standards and guidelines
  • Improves flood resiliency - 1:100 year flood
  • Reduces maintenance Incorporates an historical/commemorative component to recognize the old bridge design

Project background

In partnership with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), The City of Calgary is replacing the 9 Avenue S.E. bridge over the Elbow River because it has reached the end of its original lifespan. The aging bridge also has a reduced load carrying capacity, does not meet current design and engineering standards, and requires increased costs to maintain it.​

Since 1909, the 9 Avenue S.E. bridge has connected citizens with the historic Inglewood and Ramsay communities, Calgary's growing city centre, and today's developing East Victoria Park and East Village. The bridge was originally built to accommodate the new street car system. Today, the bridge is used by a high volume of people walking, cycling and driving.

Frequently asked questions

Making room for construction - tree removals


9Ave Bridge - Tree removal

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Yes. We review each tree to determine whether it can be relocated, reused, or should be removed. The trees in this area are either too old or large to move, or decaying. Particularly, the Elm trees in Sculpture Park were found to be suffering from European Elm Scale.​

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Yes, each tree we remove is assessed a dollar value. The total value determines the number of trees that the project team can replant after the project is completed. We'll always plant the replacement trees and greenery in the closest suitable location to the impacted area.​

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The goal is to make sure the ecological health of the area around the bridge and river is restored. It may mean planting more trees and increasing the types of trees. Sometimes it may mean planting other types of vegetation that can better integrate with the native species and the Elbow River bank.​

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Within Sculpture Park, we'll ensure the statues are restored and trees are replanted. There may be an opportunity to increase the diversity of the trees in the park. The other restoration areas are closer to the Elbow River bank, which will improve what currently exists. In addition to planting new trees and greenery, we'll use remains of the removed trees to build up fish and wildlife habitat areas.​

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You'll see trees being removed weeks ahead of construction beginning, to avoid birds nesting in the existing trees. If we were to wait until closer to construction, there would be a risk of disrupting this important part of a bird’s life cycle. Removing trees before nesting begins, ensures fewer delays to replacing the bridge.​

Information on weight restrictions


9Ave Bridge - Weight Restrictions

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The bridge structure has served Calgary for 110 years. We closed one lane on the bridge as a precautionary measure following a recent inspection that showed the bottom chords were overstressed. We also added a new weight restriction to the bridge.​

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The new weight restriction means that trucks heavier than 5 tonnes (11,000 lbs) will no longer be allowed to use the bridge. Before this, trucks heavier than 8.5 tonnes were not allowed to cross the bridge.

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No. We are still allowing all essential services to use the bridge regardless of weight. This means, Fire trucks and Transit buses can still go on the bridge. We are also allowing plows/sanders to access the bridge to plow it and put down sanding material. However, if the plow is not actively working on the bridge, the driver has been directed to take the detour. We have also directed Waste and Recycling to use the detour.

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No, Transit has been deemed an essential service and will be allowed to access the bridge.

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Yes. We are working with the Calgary Police in hopes that they will educate those in violation before handing out fines as they are significant.

Weight over 5t (5000kg) Bridge maximum.

Truck weight being 5001 up to 10000 Kg. = Penalty $34 / 100 Kg. + 15% surcharge.

  • 1000 Kg. over = $391.00
  • 2000 Kg. over = $782.00
  • 3000 Kg. over = $1173.00
  • 4000 Kg. over = $1564.00
  • 5000 Kg. over = $1955.00

Truck weight being 10001 up to 15000 Kg. = Penalty $47 / 100 Kg. + 15% surcharge 6000 Kg. over = $3246.00

  • 7000 Kg. over = $3783.00
  • 8000 Kg. over = $4324.00
  • 9000 Kg. over = $4864.00
  • 10000 Kg. over = $5405.00
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The current weight restriction will be in place on the existing 9 Avenue S.E. bridge, until the temporary bridge opens this summer. The weight restriction is necessary to ensure viability of the existing bridge.

General project questions


9th Ave Bridge rehab

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Yes. A temporary bridge- one eastbound lane and one westbound lane- will be in place over the Elbow River, between the existing bridge and the CPR bridge. People driving will use this bridge to access downtown, East Village, Inglewood and Ramsay. It also allows public transit to continue operating.

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To cross the Elbow River, people will use the pedestrian bridge, just north of the exiting bridge, and MacDonald Bridge, just south of the existing bridge. Once the contractor is hired, we’ll know how much space is available in the area and will confirm the north-south detour routes around the construction zone.

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The new bridge will have a multi-use pathway on the north and south sides of the bridge. These pathways will be wider than the sidewalks on the existing bridge and connect to the nearby pathway system.

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The new 9 Avenue S.E. bridge design includes four vehicle lanes. It was important the bridge was designed for the next 100 years, which meant accommodating space for an extra lane, in case it's required in the future. The City is reviewing the best use for the fourth lane; options could include a dedicated HOV and/or Transit lane. If a fourth lane is not immediately required, temporary measures could be put in place.

Regardless of the number of vehicle lanes on the bridge, the lanes must transition to the number of vehicle lanes and their respective use on 9 Avenue S.E., east of the bridge.

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7 Street S.E. is closed for constructing the new 9 Avenue S.E. bridge. The City is reviewing how 7 Street S.E. will function in the future, between 9 Avenue S.E. and MacDonald Avenue. Two planning policy documents propose removing vehicle traffic from the road:

This proposed change would improve the safety and experience of people using the future pathways in the area. More information on 7 Street S.E. will be available as the review progresses.​



$23 million (shared by the Province of Alberta and CMLC)

Contact us

If you have questions about replacing the 9 Avenue S.E. bridge please contact the project team at

For more details on the engagement process, visit the project's engage page.


  • Remove trees to prepare the construction zone: COMPLETED
  • Hire contractor: COMPLETED
  • Close 7 St S.E.: COMPLETED
  • Begin building temporary vehicle bridge: April 2019
  • Open temporary vehicle bridge (vehicle access over Elbow River during construction): summer 2019
  • Remove existing bridge: fall 2019
  • Construct new bridge: fall 2019 - fall 2020
  • Landscaping (includes replanting trees), refurbish Sculpture Park, install commemoration pieces and Inglewood sign: fall 2020 and spring 2021

*Once the contractor is hired, we will update the schedule as more information is confirmed. Construction is dependent on weather, site conditions and timing of other projects in the neighb​ourhood. Updates will be provided regularly, but dates may change.

Bridge design

9 ave bridge SE view
Click to see larger image