May 1, 2015 7:31 pm

Bridge over Sherwood Park Freeway to be demolished

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WATCH ABOVE: A major thoroughfare will be shut down Friday night. Through the weekend the Sherwood Park Freeway under the 17 Street overpass will be closed. Vinesh Pratap has the details. 

EDMONTON – Some motorists will be dealing with even more traffic headaches. Starting Friday night and through this weekend, the Sherwood Park Freeway under the 17 Street overpass will be closed and the bridge will be demolished.

When the overpass is gone, 17 Street will be temporarily closed and this will mean more detours.

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A new bridge is under construction, and overall improvements to increase capacity are being made. But the old bridge has to be torn down so work can continue on the new one.

One business owner in the area is worried that traffic will become even more of a pain.  Bradley Gemmer, owner of Gem Steel Edmonton, says he only heard about the bridge on April 17.

He says that his staff will be spending more time in traffic.

“Is it fair that they be penalized in spite of their best efforts to get to work? Or, should we as business owners pay for their time? Or pay them anyway when they come in late?” asks Gemmer.

However, the old bridge has to be torn down to accommodate that work.

“This particular location, we’re doubling the capacity of this particular crossing, improving the on and off ramps to the freeway, 76 Avenue has been eliminated and replaced by new on and off ramps to Sherwood Park freeway,” says Rob Richardson with Flatiron-Dragados-Aecon-Lafarge-Joint Venutre.

The bridge removal is part of the overall Northeast Henday project that’s left the east end of the city a big construction zone. The joint venture indicates efforts are taken to minimize impacts.

“In order to use all the resources such as earth works, equipment, materials, also traffic mitigation around the project. All of that is planned early on,” explains Richardson.

The closure of the Sherwood Park roadway will last until 5 a.m. Monday. A new 17 Street bridge is scheduled to be ready for motorists by the end of the summer.

The Northeast Henday project remains on scheduled to open by October 2016.

With files from Vinesh Pratap

© 2015 Shaw Media

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