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Groat Road Bridges open to traffic

October 29, 2020

This major milestone gives commuters by car and bike a reason to celebrate in Edmonton.

The City of Edmonton’s summer construction season wraps up this week, and Groat Road Bridges is one of the major projects that caps off the season with an exciting milestone. The road is open to two lanes of traffic in both directions, and a wider shared use path is also ready for pedestrians and cyclists.

The bridge is a major artery in the heart of Edmonton’s river valley and has been under construction for over two years with one lane of travel open in each direction. The sidewalk was narrowed during construction, too. For a roadway that carries tens of thousands of vehicles every day, having two lanes open again is a relief!

The shared-use path is a critical north-south connection in Edmonton’s 160km of river valley trails. As soon as we were awarded the project, DIALOGers that use the bridge as part of their commute came to the bridge team to share their ideas for improvements.

The original concept was to rehabilitate the main bridge crossing the river and the two adjacent bridges and to look at reconfiguring the roadways on the north side of the river.  It was a very car-focused approach and it reminded us of how we started the Walterdale Bridge project. We took a step back and looked at this as much more than a bridge carrying a roadway over the river—it is a major connection in the river valley for people as well as cars.

—Neil Robson, principal and structural engineer

Project partners from City of Edmonton and Graham Construction join DIALOG at the opening celebration of Groat Road Bridges

Along the way, the team used sustainable design thinking as much as possible. Large infrastructure projects like this require an incredible amount of time, energy, materials, and collaboration to complete. We asked ourselves, “how can we extend the life of this bridge beyond 50 or 75 years, and reduce the amount of maintenance and repairs required, too?”

The design reuses the majority of the existing river piers to minimize the impact of any instream works, which also reduced the amount of new concrete needed. Durable materials like stainless steel rebar, high performance concrete, and weathering steel for the girders. And we planned construction around the bridge in a way that minimizes the overall environmental footprint.

Finishing touches will continue in the area for the next few weeks, but this was a huge milestone to hit after over two years of construction.

Congratulations to the project team and our partners at the City of Edmonton, Al-Terra Engineering, Spencer Environmental Management, Thurber Engineering, and Graham Construction.