First arches erected for Edmonton Walterdale Bridge

21-01-2016

The first two arches have now gone up on the Walterdale Bridge in Edmonton, as the development of the structure begins to gain pace.

Four giant jacks now stand atop the temporary towers, which will be used to install a 950-tonne central arch segment in a lift that will take roughly six hours, according to the Edmonton Journal.

The news provider reported that 6,000 bolts will be used to join the sections. The central structure was previously put together by workers on the south bank of the river.

Once the segment is joined with the outer arch pieces, the final arch will be raised in another lifting process that is planned for next spring. Once it is complete, the arch will be at its full height of 54 metres above the river, putting it at the same height as the High Level Bridge.

Ryan Teplitsky, construction project manager with the City of Edmonton, told the news provider: “It’s a major milestone. It’s definitely difficult. You’re lifting 950 tonnes of steel and connecting them to the existing arch pieces on the berms. It’s a complicated manoeuvre.

“The next lift will be a larger arch. It will weigh 2,000 tonnes, span 150 metres and be raised 20 metres.”

Construction of the bridge began in 2013 to replace the 102-year-old bridge, with the new bridge set to be open by 2016. The bridge was originally set to be finished at the end of 2015, but the deadline was pushed back after the structure’s beams arrived months later than anticipated.

The bridge will have three northbound traffic lanes and sidewalks. Its design can also accommodate a fourth lane, but a city document has argued this would not align with its overall Transportation Master Plan.