August 2, 2019: The west side of the Groat Road Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River now has two-thirds of its new girders in place.
“Things are progressing well,” said Caroline Schettler, Program Manager, City of Edmonton. “We have installed 14 pieces to date and have seven more to go for the west half. Then we follow with completing the work on the deck on that half of the bridge.”
Delivery of the remaining seven girders is scheduled to start on August 5 and continue on August 7. That means Groat Road will be closed from 10 p.m. those days until 6 a.m. the next day.
When the project switches to the east side of the bridge, work crews will repeat the process of demolition and girder installation. The east side of the bridge will see 14 new girders.
These pics from a couple of weeks ago help convey the size and progress of the project, and give pedestrians, cyclists and motorists a sense of the story taking shape on the other side of the west-side construction hoarding.
And this pic from 64 years ago is just fun to look at. It’s from opening day on the bridge.
June 28, 2019: The Groat Road Bridge has gotten its first delivery of giant girders.
“Things are about to take shape in a big way,” said Caroline Schettler, Program Manager, City of Edmonton. “A big, careful, measured-down-to-the-millimetre way. We need everybody who uses the area to know what’s happening, and when, and we need their understanding and patience, too.”
The first two girders were trucked to the bridge site over the night of Tuesday, July 2, and into the early morning of Wednesday, July 3. The massive steel girders—each weighs up to 37,700 kg and is up to 46 m long—were unloaded, inspected and prepared for installation, a process that took two days.
On Friday, July 5, the two girders are to be lifted by crane and lowered into place, resting on bearings at the north end of the 64-year-old bridge.
Take a look from above at the open space on the west side of the bridge where the girders will go in the reconstruction process:
On July 8, a third girder will be set in place alongside the first two, and all three will be braced on July 9.
Girder work means temporary path, road closures
This work means the shared-use path under the bridge and River Valley Road under Groat Road Bridge will be closed temporarily—from 9 a.m. until approximately 3:30 p.m. on July 5, July 8 and July 9—to pedestrian, bicycle and automobile traffic.
“We are committed to causing as little impact to human and vehicle traffic as possible, so we are scheduling the work not to interfere with rush-hour use of the paths and roads,” said Schettler.
“Safety of the public and our workers is a top priority. The area will become a temporary work site. There’s just no way around it.”
Indeed, for the hours the area is closed there is no safe way around it. It’s better to know to avoid the area, please. Shortcutting is not an option, especially for people on the shared-use path. The path under the bridge is located in tight quarters. To one side there is a steep river bank, to the other lanes of inaccessible Groat Road automobile traffic. Hiking up a ravine trail or up Groat Road Hill is still a hike.
Signs in the area and at ravine entry points started going up on June 26.
“We have to get the word out as much as we can to joggers, bike riders, skateboarders, pet walkers, car drivers and everybody else who uses the area just to plan to steer clear for those hours,” said Schettler.
And to spread the word, too. If you know someone who uses the area, especially the shared-use path, let them know about July 5, July 8 and July 9 between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. ?
The sidewalk and crosswalk on the east side of Groat Bridge are not affected by the SUP closures. People on foot and bike can still access the bridge from the east side.
The Groat Road Bridge project is currently in Phase 1, which is focused on the superstructure demolition of the west side of Groat Road Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.
When the west half is complete, traffic will be routed to the new side and work will begin on the east half of the bridge. Similar closures in the area are expected during the next phase. Projected completion is the fall of 2020 and includes an improved, 4.2m wide shared-use path on the east side of Groat Road Bridge.
There’s more here to learn about the project and its benefits, timelines, costs, closures and engineering.
We’ll have more updates as the city-building project continues. Thanks for reading!