Kelowna’s first enclosed pedestrian bridge was installed on Saturday morning.
Installation of the bridge, which links the new Centennial and East Pandosy Buildings at Kelowna General Hospital, shut down Pandosy Street between Rose Avenue and Royal Avenue from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Interior Health officials say the walkway will make the hospital run more smoothly.
“Things like samples and paperwork and staff will be moving back and forth between the two buildings, it’s going to bring huge efficiencies,” said Cam McAlpine with Interior Health.
About 80 workers were involved in the installation, from detouring traffic to welding the bridge into place, though a fair number also took the time to enjoy the sight of the installation.
A crowd of about 60 people gathered at the south end of Pandosy to watch the installation.
“Just curiosity, I’ve been watching this construction thing going on for days, weeks and months,” said Don Schafer.
“I just think it’d be nice to see. It’s a new beginning for the hospital,” said Aileen Payne.
The project to lift and move the 140,000 pound bridge took four weeks to plan.
It only took crews about an hour to lift and put the bridge
into place but it will take several hours for the walkway to be welded into
The bridge spans 140 feet and there was only a couple inches of clearance on either side.
The walkway weighs 140,000 pounds and is designed to withstand even natural disasters.
“The bridge is designed both seismically to take a significant seismic event, which is actually the most significant load that it would ever face,” said project director Dave Corcoran. “It’s also designed to take a full load of any pedestrians across that bridge.”
Vehicles must be less than 25 feet to pass under the bridge.
The walkway will officially open to the public next May.