9 Avenue S.E. Bridge replacement project

Project update - June 28, 2022

Construction complete

Crews have completed remaining construction and the bridge is fully open for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

Representatives from The City of Calgary, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Government of Alberta announced the official opening of the bridge at an event the morning of June 28, 2022. The opening was also celebrated with the community at a lunch-hour event featuring music by local artists and treats provided by the Deane House.

Painting of lane markings on the bridge and minor remaining landscaping will be completed in the coming weeks.

Commemoration pieces from the original bridge, including the historic Inglewood goose sign, will also be installed in Sculpture Park this summer.

We thank you for your patience throughout construction.

River pathways re-opened

With work on the bridge complete, the west Elbow river pathway has been re-opened for pedestrians and cyclists.

The east Elbow river pathway was restored and re-opened to users following construction of the CP Rail bridge in early 2022.

7 St. S.E.

7 St. S.E. and the west Elbow River pathway, from 9 Ave. to MacDonald Ave. S.E, was closed on April 8, 2019, to accommodate construction as part of the 9 Ave. S.E. Bridge replacement project.

7 St. S.E. will remain permanently closed. The West Elbow River pathway along 7 St. S.E. will be re-opened for pedestrians and cyclists once construction is complete.

This decision has been made based on a thorough review of the area by The City, including consideration of the Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) and CMLC’s Rivers District Master Plan, which support closing 7 St. S.E. to vehicle traffic to enhance the safety and experience of those who walk and wheel along this route.

Community and business access for all modes of travel will continue to be available as outlined in this map:

Commemorating the old 9 Avenue S.E. bridge

We’re commemorating the 110-year-old bridge in a number of ways, to make sure its presence and history are part of the new bridge’s design and remain part of the surrounding historical communities:

  • Erect an information kiosk, that provides insight to the bridge’s beginnings and long history
  • Use the old pedestrian railings within the newly designed and opened Mills Park, farther east on 9 Ave. S.E.
  • Store pieces of the old bridge arch for future use in other creative projects and initiatives

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

The original 'Inglewood' community sign, including the black goose, will be relocated east to the newly landscaped Outwest Park. It will be supported with material from the old bridge and be placed among the sculptures in the garden, where it will continue to welcome people into the community.

Capture to preserve the 9 Avenue S.E. bridge

As part of a University of Calgary project, the 9 Ave. S.E. bridge has been digitally preserved alongside other heritage resources in the province. Using terrestrial laser scanning, the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology created an interactive, digital model of the bridge, allowing it to be explored from every angle.

Visit Capture to Preserve for a look at the bridge and other historical locations in Alberta.

Project scope

Construction of the new bridge began 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 replaced the original 9 Avenue S.E. bridge over the Elbow River because it reached the end of its lifespan. The aging bridge had a reduced load carrying capacity, did not meet current design and engineering standards, and required 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

Commemoration

What is being done with the original bridge pieces?

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  • Use pieces as part of the bridge heritage interpretation plan design
  • Relocate pieces to the newly designed and opened Mills Park in Inglewood
  • Keep pieces in storage for future use with other creative projects or initiatives
  • Recycle unusable pieces

What is being done with the original Inglewood sign?

We are removing the black Inglewood goose sign from the exiting bridge and are reusing it as part of the final landscaping plan, where it will continue to welcome people into the Inglewood community.

General project questions

How does the NEW bridge design accommodate people walking and cycling?

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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How many vehicle lanes are on the new bridge?

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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Will 7 Street S.E. permanently close under the CPR bridge?

A temporary closure of 7 St. S.E. and adjacent pathways has been in place since April 2019 to accommodate construction of the 9 Ave. S.E. bridge. Following completion of the project, a decision has been made by The City to permanently close 7 St. S.E. to vehicle traffic, from 9 Ave. S.E. to MacDonald Ave. S.E. The West Elbow River pathway along 7 St. S.E. will be re-opened for pedestrians and cyclists once construction is complete.

This decision has been made based on a thorough review of the area by The City, including consideration of two planning policy documents that propose removing vehicle traffic from 7 St. S.E. (CMLC Rivers District Master Plan & Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan}. The change will enhance the safety and experience of people using current and future pathways in the area.​

Making room for construction - tree removals

Are existing trees assessed, before removing?

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.​

Do we compensate the trees?

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.​

How do we plan to restore trees?

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.​

Where are we restoring the trees in the area?

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.​

 

Budget

$25.1 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 311.

Project timeline

  • Remove trees to prepare the construction zone: COMPLETED
  • Hire contractor: COMPLETED
  • Close 7 St S.E.: COMPLETED
  • Begin building temporary vehicle bridge: COMPLETED
  • Open temporary vehicle bridge (vehicle access over Elbow River during construction): COMPLETED
  • Remove existing bridge: COMPLETED
  • Construct new bridge: COMPLETED
  • Landscaping (includes replanting trees), refurbish Sculpture Park, install commemoration pieces and Inglewood sign: summer 2022

*Construction is dependent on weather, site conditions and timing of other projects in the neighbourhood. Updates will be provided regularly, but dates may change.


Bridge design

(Click to see larger image)


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​