Monday, November 10, 2014

Inglewood Bridges Facing Replacement

The year was 1875. The North West Mounted Police had just built their fort and a new community was established east of the Elbow River; Inglewood was born. At the time, however, it was known as East Calgary or Brewery Flats. In fact, it wasn't until 1911 that the neighbourhood was named after a nearby homestead that was established by a certain Col. James Walker.

It was around that time that two bridges were built to allow access to and from Inglewood, those bridges still exist:
# St. George's Bridge connects Inglewood to St. George's Island, the Calgary Zoo and Memorial Dr.
# Inglewood Bridge connects Inglewood to Fort Calgary, East Village and Downtown Calgary.

Those two bridges are what this current post is focused on. The bridges have been in constant use since they were built, over a century ago. They bear traffic all throughout the day, whether vehicular, non-motorized or pedestrian. Recently the age and use are starting take their toll, becoming more visible as time goes by.

The City has had these two bridges under a magnifying glass for a while, more so after the 2013 Alberta Flood. Recently the decision was made that there can be no more waiting - something must be done to ensure the safety of people traveling in, out and throughout Inglewood.
Fixing the bridges has never really been under discussion - it was always about replacing the existing ones.

Here's how it is going to go: The Inglewood bridge, due to its narrow placement above the Elbow River, will be closed down for approximately one year, taken down and then replaced with a brand new structure. 
St. George's Bridge will remain open for use while a new and improved bridge is built adjacent to it. Once completed, the old bridge will then be taken down.

This new replacement project is already becoming a major discussion topic all around the city, as currently these bridges serve a daily, high volume of traffic. Although the 12th street bridge, St. George's Bridge, will remain open during construction the Inglewood bridge will be shut down; this is expected to create major traffic blockages around DT.

Last update indicates that the plan is to start construction as soon as possible on a new 12th street bridge; this will be the one replacing St. George's bridge. It is hoped that construction will be finished sometime in 2015. Finishing this bridge first might reduce the stress drivers would have to deal with once, the Inglewood Bridge is closed down.

$30 million is the cost of replacing both bridges.
Tell us what YOU think! Share with us your thoughts, impressions and expectations regarding this major step in Inner City Redevelopment.

Global News; Bridge Repair Could Lead to Traffic Back-ups Near Downtown

Global News; Inglewood Bridges to be Replaced (Video)

Calgary Herald; Five Ways the Next Decade will Move Calgary

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