Drag to view image
Tap on hotspots to learn more.
Thrust blocks provide a foundation for the arches, which carry the bridge load. Each thrust block requires about 600 cubic metres of concrete installed 20 m below the road elevation.
Building thrust blocks:
- Temporary sheet piling is installed 20 m below the surface. Sheet piling supports deep excavation on both river banks.
- Because a dry environment is needed, sheet piles are designed to connect together. This allows deep excavation within a watertight temporary enclosure, which is called a cofferdam.
- Concrete is poured for thrust blocks.
- After work is complete, the cofferdam is dismantled, and sheet pilings are removed and recycled.
The new bridge features enhanced pedestrian and cycling facilities, with a separated shared-use path on the east side and a sidewalk on the west side.
These crossings link to the existing south trail network and to a new trail below the north side of the new bridge.
The signature feature of the new Walterdale Bridge is two 56 m high steel arches (about as tall as the High Level Bridge).
The arches span 206 m and are supported by thrust blocks on both river banks. They angle in towards each other and are connected with steel struts.
Cables hang from the arches to support the new bridge deck, which is a steel framework supporting a cast-in-place concrete deck covered with asphalt to make a quieter driving surface.
The existing two-lane bridge is to be replaced by a three-lane bridge. Additional lanes on the new bridge and on the approaching northbound roadways will reduce traffic delays and improve bridge operations and safety.
Abutments retain soil on either side of the river and support the new bridge. They are constructed from cast-in-place and precast concrete supported on drilled, cast-in-place concrete piles.
Both Queen Elizabeth Park Road and Walterdale Hill Road will be closed for portions of construction for re-grading and realignment with the new bridge.
One road will be open to traffic during summer construction, and both will be open over the winter. Short-term traffic disruptions and detours are anticipated during final construction.
Traditional Burial Grounds
Rossdale has significant historic and cultural importance. On the north side of river is the Traditional Burial Grounds/Fort Edmonton Cemetery, which includes a memory circle, re-interment area and historic period graveyard. Prior to bridge construction, the site required Historical Resources Act clearance from Alberta Culture, as well as realignment of the legal cemetery boundary and relocation of the site’s interpretive belvedere to a new temporary location.
The new bridge is being built adjacent to the old bridge over an area that has been frequently disturbed throughout Rossdale’s development. This area presents the lowest possibility of finding historic resources during construction.
After more than 100 years, the Walterdale Bridge reached the end of its service life and needed to be replaced. Construction on the $155 million project began in 2013. The new bridge celebrated a grand opening in September 2018.
The bridge features 3 northbound traffic lanes and enhanced pedestrian and cyclist crossings. Roadway and trail links north and south of the river were also enhanced.
This signature bridge is the first of its kind in Edmonton, with two 56m tall arches spanning the river just east of the current bridge. The new bridge arches are supported by thrust blocks on both river banks, eliminating permanent in-river piers.