Calgary’s temporary 9 Avenue S.E. bridge over Elbow River to open Thursday

Calgary is set to open a temporary bridge over the Elbow River, which will allow crews to replace the aging 9 Avenue S.E. bridge.

On Thursday, traffic will no longer be using the old bridge in and out of Inglewood.

The temporary bridge will allow traffic — 19,000 vehicles a day, according to the city — to keep flowing while a permanent one is built.

It’s what senior structural engineer Evan Fer called a big milestone for the project. He said Tuesday that the City of Calgary’s goal is to ensure there is minimal impact on commuters.

“Commuters using this route should expect very little impact… We’re doing the work throughout the night to minimize that impact and by Thursday morning, they should expect to commute as they normally do,” he said, adding that people will be detoured to a pedestrian bridge to the north.

“The current five-tonne weight restriction will be removed. The temporary bridge will be able to accommodate larger trucks.”

Calgary’s Inglewood bridge, pictured on July 16, 2019, is 110 years old, according to the city.

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Closing the route for a year and a half would not be an option, he said.

“[The temporary bridge] allows cost savings so that we can provide a safe and efficient route for Calgarians while we rebuild the permanent bridge,” Fer said.

The $23-million budget includes the temporary bridge, the new bridge and demolition of the old bridge, he said.

The new one is scheduled to open in fall 2020.

“The new bridge will be similar in scale and size to the current bridge… It is an arch bridge that will be unique to Calgary,” Fer said. “The new bridge is going to be raised by approximately one metre and that will make sure that it can withstand a 100-year flood event.”

Lane closures

The city warns that the following lane closures on 9 Avenue S.E. are required to finalize the shift onto the temporary bridge:

  • Wednesday, July 17 from 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.: full closure across Elbow River at 9 Avenue S.E.
  • Wednesday, July 17 at 10 p.m. to Thursday, July 18 at 12:30 a.m.: traffic on the current bridge will be restricted so crews can work on the transition areas
  • Thursday, July 18 from 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.: full closure across Elbow River at 9 Avenue S.E.
  • Thursday, July 18, by 6 a.m.: temporary bridge opens to traffic

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