Quesnell Bridge Now Fully Open
September 26, 2011With the opening of its new multi-use trail, the final phase of construction on the Quesnell Bridge has been completed and the structure is completely open to motorized, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Work on the project began in 2008. In addition to the complete rehabilitation and widening of the Quesnell Bridge, the busiest river crossing in Edmonton, the project included:
- Installation of six through lanes and two auxiliary lanes along Whitemud Drive (westbound from Terwillegar corner to 149 St; eastbound from 149 St. to 53 Ave.)
- Reconstruction and widening of the Fox Drive overpass
- Creation of two traffic lanes and a Transit Priority Lane on the Whitemud Drive/Fox Drive loop ramp
- 149 Street off ramp widening to two lanes
- Improvements to Terwillegar Drive/40 Ave. intersection
- Improved access to Fort Edmonton Park
- Reconstructing a retaining wall and installing new retaining walls
- Construction of Brander Gardens noise wall
- Development of a modified multi-use trail system
- Creation of a new storm water facility
“The entire Whitemud corridor project was complex and proved especially challenging considering the fact that crews had to work while over 120,000 vehicles per day continued to use the bridge,” says Mayor Stephen Mandel. “I want to thank Edmontonians for their patience over the last several years as we completed this key piece of the city’s transportation network. The investment we’ve made in Edmonton’s infrastructure will serve our citizens well for the next 50 years.”
Ever-increasing demands and stringent safety/structural standards meant that many components of the 44 year-old Quesnell Bridge structure had to be improved. Pier extensions, made of steel and with hollow compartments so as to reduce the strain on the structure, were used to widen the bridge. The girders were in good condition but needed to be strengthened at the base.
The work was done in an environmentally responsible method: installation of the pier extensions was designed so that there would be no need to construct berms in the water or to drive piles into the river bed. Limiting on-river work to the winter months also resulted in negligible environmental impact on the North Saskatchewan River and its banks.
Although work was delayed by excessive rain and snow over the last two construction seasons, the project will cost $161M. Final landscaping and clean up will take place over the next few months.