January 19, 2016 12:30 pm
Updated: January 19, 2016 9:35 pm

First Walterdale Bridge arch lifted into place

WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton's skyline has changed as the Walterdale Bridge takes a monumental step forward. Fletcher Kent with an update on its progress.

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A major milestone in the construction of Edmonton’s new Walterdale Bridge took place on Tuesday, as one of the two arches across the bridge was lifted into place.

Over the course of six hours, the 950-tonne central arch segment was lifted about 15 metres. It will then be connected to the larger arch segments currently being supported by red temporary towers on the river bank. Some 6,000 bolts will be used to connect the pieces.

The second larger arch, weighing in at 2,000 tonnes, will be lifted 20 metres into place later the spring.

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Once complete, the 54-metre high arches will span the width of the North Saskatchewan River, and be about as tall as the nearby High Level Bridge.

The arches were floated into place back in November, and have been sitting on temporary platforms while waiting to be hoisted into place by massive winches.

READ MORE: Walterdale Bridge arches to be floated across North Saskatchewan River

Project engineers provided an update Tuesday on how construction is coming along. The work is being livestreamed on the city’s website.

The new bridge is replacing the old one of the same name, which was over 100 years old and at the end of its service life.

The bridge will have three northbound traffic lanes, plus sidewalks. The design does allow for the possibility of adding another lane, however a city document says adding a fourth lane does not align with its Transportation Master Plan, The Way We Move, which calls for greater use of public transit, walking and cycling.

WATCH: Animation showing the procedure that will be used raise the arches for the new bridge.

Construction on the new bridge began in 2013. It was supposed to be done in fall 2015 but last spring the deadline was pushed back a year because the bridge’s 42 steel beams, which were made in South Korea, began arriving months later than planned.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Walterdale Bridge facing a lengthy delay

The contractor was set to incur a $10,000 daily fine once the original opening was missed.

The $155 million project is now scheduled to be complete by late 2016. The old bridge will be demolished in 2017.

WATCH: Drone history made in downtown Edmonton

With files from Slav Kornik and Caley Ramsay, Global News

© 2016 Shaw Media

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