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The 262 metre long footbridge links Terwillegar Park to Oleskiw River Valley Park on the north side of the river. The unique, minimalist profile of the first ‘stressed ribbon’ bridge in Edmonton provides a striking river valley crossing.

Planning to visit the footbridge? Here are a couple things to keep in mind. 

  • Be aware of parking restrictions in Terwillegar Park. The City of Edmonton will be expanding the parking lot next spring to meet the high demand for parking. 
  • Dogs need to be leashed on the Terwillegar Park Footbridge and in River Valley Oleskiw Park. There are no changes to the off-leash areas in Terwillegar Park.

How to access the footbridge

From Terwillegar Park:

The trail to access the footbridge is slightly up the road from the Terwillegar Park parking lot (east of the parking lot on the north side of the road). View map

From Oleskiw River Valley Park:

Oleskiw River Valley Park is accessible by the Fort Edmonton Footbridge. 

What is a "Stressed Ribbon" Bridge?

A stressed ribbon bridge means the support cables are embedded into the deck below the walking surface. The basic principle behind the stressed ribbon design is similar to a suspension bridge. It has also been referred to as the modern analogy of a ‘rope bridge’.

The City of Edmonton considered a number of options for the footbridge. After careful evaluation, a stressed ribbon design was selected because:

  • It has a reduced environmental impact during the construction phase
  • The thin, rolling structure is aesthetically pleasing and reduces the visual impact in the river valley
  • The pre-stressed deck is extremely durable
  • It was the most cost-efficient option
  • It has a long lifespan and low maintenance costs
  • It has a quick construction period

Terwillegar Park Footbridge Facts

  • The walking surface is made up of 86 precast deck panels
  • Each panel is approximately 2.64 metres long and 5.3 metres wide
  • The unique design means the bridge deck is only 46.5 cm thick
  • The bridge is 262 metres long, which is the slightly over the length of two football fields
  • Pedestrians and cyclists using the bridge will feel a slight dip between the two piers and the abutments
  • The panels are held up by 162 individual steel cables that are anchored to a concrete abutment on each river bank and supported in the river by two piers. The installation of each panel is done by a crane lifting each piece onto the steel cables and using a high line to slide it into position. Once all the deck panels are installed, an additional 162 cables will be installed to tighten or ‘stress’ the bridge deck
  • The stressed ribbon design is relatively rare and there are only about 60 bridges worldwide. Edmonton is one of only two Canadian cities that have constructed this unique type of bridge. Fish Creek Park in Calgary is the other city
  • The Terwillegar Park Footbridge is the second longest stressed ribbon footbridge in the world. The longest is in Escondido, California and is 300 metres

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