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9 Avenue S.E. Bridge replacement project

Project update - September 17, 2020

Construction has continued to progress over the past month on Sarcee Trail and Richmond Road, with a number of improvements completed, including:

  • Widening of the northbound lanes on Sarcee Trail
  • Completion and opening of the Signal Hill Center loop ramp

Work on Richmond Rd. S.W. is ongoing, and is expected to be complete by the end of September.

On Sarcee Trail, northbound and southbound traffic lanes have been shifted to accommodate work on the median. Watch for onsite signage marking closures and detours.

Over the next several weeks, crews will be focused on completing remaining project work, with the majority of improvements expected to be complete by the end of October.

Note: Construction schedules may change based on unexpected weather or site conditions.

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Commemorating the old 9 Avenue S.W. 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:

  • Install four historical images of the old bridge along the pathway's barriers
  • 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

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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.W. 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 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

Removing the existing 9 Avenue S.E. bridge

How are we removing the existing bridge?

  • We're removing the bridge in pieces
  • We will begin with the sidewalks and then begin removing pieces from the top of the bridge to the bottom
  • We can't remove it all at once, like we did with the 12 Street S.E. bridge because there is not enough space and there are too many overhead utilities

How long will it take to remove the bridge?

We are scheduled to begin removing it near the end of July and finish removing it in early fall, 2019.

What are we doing with the 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

When do we begin building the new bridge?

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  • Crews will begin building the new bridge in fall 2019, once the current bridge is removed
  • The new bridge is scheduled to open in fall 2020

What are we doing with the 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.

Is there a weight restriction on the temporary bridge?

Yes. The new weight restriction is MAX LOAD 39 TONNES. The temporary bridge has a much higher weight restriction and is able to accommodate the heavier vehicles that frequently travel and make deliveries in the area. It will be posted onsite.

General project questions

During construction, will there be vehicle access over the Elbow River?

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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What are the walking and cycling detours?

To cross the Elbow River, people will use the pedestrian bridge, just north of the existing 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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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?

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.​

Making room for construction - tree removals

Are the 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.​

Why are we removing trees so far ahead of construction?

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.​

 

Budget

$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 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): summer 2019 COMPLETED
  • Remove existing bridge: fall 2019: COMPLETED
  • 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

*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

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