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The new 262 metre long footbridge links Terwillegar Park in the southwest to Oleskiw River Valley Park on the north side of the river.

As part of the West End Trails initiative, approximately five kilometres of new and upgraded trails connect the footbridge to the existing river valley trail system.

The Terwillegar Park Footbridge budget is $24.5 million and is being funded by the River Valley Alliance, the provincial and federal governments, and the City of Edmonton.

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

Stressed Ribbon Bridge Construction

The general steps involved in building a stressed ribbon bridge include:

  1. Substructure construction which includes the river piers and shoreline abutments
  2. Superstructure construction including installation of bearing cables and precast concrete deck panels on bearing cables
  3. Install stressing cables, grout and apply tension to cables
  4. Install shade canopies
  5. Install railings and lighting
  6. Apply deck surface coating
  7. Complete site grading
  8. Complete connecting trails and final landscaping

Interesting Facts About the Terwillegar Park Footbridge

  • 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
View the photo gallery for a rendering of the Terwillegar Park Footbridge.

For More Information

Tariq Aziz, P.Eng.

Telephone

780-496-8192

Email tariq.aziz@edmonton.ca

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