Now before you get too worked up over the title of this post, the term “stress” is referring to the type of engineering that has been applied to the new Terwillegar Park Footbridge. This $25 million, 262m long footbridge is the first “stressed ribbon” bridge in Edmonton. Similar in many ways to the more commonly known suspension bridge, Edmonton’s new stressed ribbon bridge is held up by 162 individual steel bearing cables embedded into the deck. Did we mention it is also the second longest stressed ribbon bridge in the world?!
The City of Edmonton and The River Valley Alliance (with some help from federal partners) funded the construction of pedestrian bridge linking Terwillegar Park with the west shore of the North Saskatchewan River. The Terwillegar Park Foodbridge effectively connects the existing network of river valley trails which extend from East of downtown to the West End Trails system. That is over 25km of trails for you to enjoy!
IMARK was chosen to be the construction partner on the final stage of construction – installation of four aluminum canopies, providing shelter above the viewing points of the bridge.
What seemed to be an easy project was in fact one of the most difficult installations of 2016 (so maybe it did stress some people out).
The base scope composed of single skin lightweight aluminum cladding that was to be installed directly onto a structural steel canopy assembly. However, once the structure was built it became apparent that in order to provide the bridge with a quality installation IMARK had to adjust the steel skeleton, and create a flat and even sub-structure fastening plain. The trick was to hide all additional elements of the substructure so that only the steel structure was visible to the public.
The access to the canopies had to be reviewed and confirmed by a bridge engineer, confirming that the suspended bridge deck can withstand the loads of our equipment. Once approved, we literally squeezed two manlifts into the footprint of the piers, with only inches to spare between the decorative guardrails and the concrete columns supporting the canopy. The reach of each unit and the skills of the operators were put through some serious challenges. Although I am sure our crews enjoyed the views of our beautiful River Valley and lunching on the grass, the management and site safety team were watching closely to ensure that all work was performed safely and responsibly.
IMARK is happy to report that despite the last minute re-design, engineering review and additional work needed to fulfill IMARK’s quality commitment, the bridge was opened right on schedule and has quickly become a much discussed new landmark in our proud city. It even has a bit of an extraterrestrial feel to it when lit up at night, what do you think?
Lastly, we are proud to announce that the Terwillegar Park Footbridge was recognized by Alberta Construction Magazine (ACM) 2016 Top Projects Awards in the Civil categories for projects Under $50 Million and in Civil Design. This is the second project that IMARK was apart of in 2016 that has been recognized by a world renowned publication in the area of construction and architecture. The Castle Downs Park Pavillion was nominated for a WAN Award in the Fall 2016.
If you want to read more about the Terwillegar Park Footbridge check out the City of Edmonton website. Photos were also found on the City of Edmonton’s website.
Written by Teresa Johnson
About the Author
Teresa has been with IMARK since 2011 and is our in-house HR Manager, Health and Safety Coordinator, and resident social butterfly. Teresa has a busy toddler at home, is currently studying architecture and learning how to speak Swedish.