2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Quesnell Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.
The bridge, as usual, had no comment.
Adam Laughlin spoke on its behalf.
“For most of five decades now the Quesnell Bridge has quietly done its work of moving Edmontonians across the river,” said Laughlin, Deputy City Manager, Integrated Infrastructure Services, with the City of Edmonton.
“It was planned and built and is maintained and operated for the people of our city.”
The original version of the bridge—what aficionados call a prestressed haunch type girder bridge—was finished in 1968 at price tag of just over $2.7 million. Its last major rehabilitation was completed in 2010 and featured a deck widening to four lanes on each side. The bridge is approximately 333 metres in length, consisting of six precast concrete spans.
The bridge’s shared-use path is 4.2 metres wide.
In 1988, a three-layer waterproofing membrane was installed over the concrete deck, a new asphalt wearing surface was applied and four new expansion joint systems were installed.
Today, the Quesnell Bridge carries approximately 120,000 vehicles a day.
That’s an impressive number, but, so, too are the countless number of trips across the bridge—for business, shopping, holidaying, exploring, staying connected with friends and family or just getting home—racked up over the years.
“Happy 50th, Quesnell Bridge,” said Laughlin.
Editor’s Note: If you’re wondering who the Quesnell in Quesnell Bridge was, the answer is we don’t know for sure.
Although it was suggested by the Names Advisory Committee in 1957, the subdivision of Quesnell has existed since at least 1912. It may have been named after:
- Dr. Philip Quesnel, a well-known physician and First World War veteran who moved to Edmonton in 1912, or
- J.B. Quesnelle, a prominent citizen of the Edmonton district in the 1880s who was director of the Agricultural Society in 1885 and owned a hotel in St. Albert, or
- Jules Maurice Quesnel, a French-Canadian clerk with the North West Company who worked at Fort Augustus in 1804, who died in 1842 and after whom Quesnel City in British Columbia was named.
Photo of Quesnell Bridge under construction from photos.edmonton.ca courtesy Thomas Schaefer, Park Paving Ltd