The City of Edmonton said Thursday the new Walterdale Bridge will open to traffic in September.
Officials were hesitant to provide an exact date for the opening.
“The contractor’s current schedule, based on the resources they have on site, is that the bridge will be open to traffic this September,” said Adam Laughlin, deputy city manager for integrated infrastructure services.
He said progress is being made and the city is pushing the contractor to complete the project soon.
“The project is on budget,” Laughlin said. “The contractor is paying damages on a regular basis and that’s the incentive we’re hoping will encourage the contractor to get this bridge open as soon as possible.”
Construction of the bridge started in 2013 and was supposed to be complete by fall 2015. However, during the spring of 2015 the date was pushed back because the bridge’s 42 steel beams, which were made in South Korea, began arriving months later than expected.
The $155-million bridge was then scheduled to open in late 2016, but it was pushed back again to mid-2017 because of weather-sensitive work, including asphalt paving, which couldn’t be done until after winter. An exact completion date wasn’t provided after the last delay.
On Thursday, city officials said part of the work on the project will be done on the shared-use paths, some of which may be completed a few months after the bridge is open to traffic.
“From a pedestrian perspective, the west sidewalk will be open when it’s open to traffic,” Laughlin said. “That, coupled with the existing Walterdale Bridge, provides access for active modes.”
The city said the Walterdale is the most complicated bridge it has ever constructed in Edmonton.
“Since the inception of this project, both council and administration had envisioned a signature bridge, something that can take advantage of the setting in the river valley,” Laughlin said. “The image, or the postcard, that can be created by this signature bridge is something that’s going to be able to stand the test of time in Edmonton, not only from a distance… but standing on it.”