City Readies for Walterdale Bridge Construction: Part 3, Out with the Old

After years of archaeological study, public involvement, planning and design, the Walterdale Bridge replacement project takes an exciting step forward with construction beginning this spring. Leading up to construction kick-off, the City will share details of construction, its impacts and what they mean to Edmontonians.

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The century-old Walterdale Bridge, having reached the end of its service life, will be taken down after the replacement bridge goes into operation in late 2015. While this turns a page in Edmonton’s history, the project team plans to embrace the past by salvaging portions of the old bridge for landscaping or art on the new bridge.

City Council considered preserving all or part of the current Walterdale Bridge for pedestrian and cyclist use in 2011. Because the bridge has reached the end of its service life, it would have required extensive rehabilitation to make it a safe, functional pedestrian/cyclist bridge.

In two reports to the Transportation Committee of Council—on July 12 and November 15, 2011—administration outlined the required fixes, including upgrades to the bridge deck, pier and trusses, and new railings to meet safety standards. Council chose to follow the recommendation that the old bridge be removed after the opening of the new Walterdale Bridge.

After a review by heritage planners from Sustainable Development and staff from Alberta Historic Resources Management, the Walterdale Bridge was removed from Edmonton’s Registry of Historic Resources. It is a standard through-truss bridge of its era, similar to both the High Level and Low Level bridges. These two steel truss bridges remain on the Registry of Historic Resources.

For more on the Walterdale Bridge project, go to www.edmonton.ca/WalterdaleBridge.