CALGARY- Cutting the ribbon to open the new Sandy Beach footbridge was significant. The bridge was completely washed away in the 2013 flood and was one of the most dramatic images Calgarians remember about the disaster.
It also provides a vital link between the sprawling River Park and the Community of Britannia.
Sandy Beach Bridge is located in Sandy Beach Park, southwest of the city.
The June 2013 flood destroyed three of Calgary’s pedestrian bridges located along the Elbow River, the Sandy Beach bridge is the first of the three to be re-opened by the City of Calgary.
Mayor Nenshi officially re-opened the bridge along with Minister Gordon Dirks, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary Elbow and Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre.
Mayor Nenshi says the bridge is an important transportation link in the community.
“The re-opening of this bridge represents a very tangible example of how the city and the communities most affected by the flooding, continue to recover from the 2013 flood,” Mayor Nenshi said.
The Province of Alberta has provided the majority of the funding for their $11.8 million project out of the Provincial Disaster Relief Program and the Provincial Flood Recovery Erosion Control Program.
To insure the durability of the bridges, they’re being re-built according to today’s engineering standards. They will have added flood resistant design features, bridge supports that can withstand high river flow and concrete decks that are able to withstand debris impacts.
The new bridges are also built higher than the old bridges to allow more water to to flow under them. Higher than the level of the 2013 flood.
“The Sandy Beach Footbridge is a key connection for Calgarians to their community and we are proud to celebrate this milestone of flood recovery with them,” Municipal Affairs Minister Diana McQueen said.
The two other pedestrian bridges damaged in the flood and re-built as part of the project will open shortly after the Sandy Beach Bridge.
Rideau Park Bridge will open on November 28th and Riverdale Avenue Bridge will open soon after.