Groat Road to undergo major three-year renovation

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WATCH ABOVE: The Groat Road Bridge will soon be under construction and as Kent Morrison explains live on the morning news, the work is expected to last three years – Mar 7, 2018

Get ready for three seasons of bridge reconstruction on one of the busiest river crossings in the city. The city has announced plans for total reconstruction of the Groat Road Bridge. Work begins this spring and will go into the 2020 summer construction season.

The project is really three bridges, including the Mayfair Bridge over Groat Road near Emily Murphy Park south of the river, the Groat Road Bridge over the North Saskatchewan – which is two spans side by side – and the Victoria Park Road Bridge over Groat Road.

READ MORE: After lengthy delay, Edmonton’s 102 Avenue Bridge opens

The plan is to keep at least one lane open to traffic at all times during the three-year project, said Sam El Mohtar, the director of transportation infrastructure delivery for the city.

It also means headaches for access to Hawrelak Park.

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“We will stop construction and allow them to have freedom to go around,” El Mohtar said of two major events happening in the area — the ITU Triathlon in July and Heritage Festival on the August long weekend.

READ MORE: Bike lanes and bridge delays have High Street businesses taking Edmonton to task

That means triathlon officials are crafting a new route for their event.

“It’s looking more like we will not be going over the bridge in 2018,” said Sheila O’Kelly.

Prior to this, the triathlon had the cycling portion use Groat Road and both spans of the river.

O’Kelly isn’t worried about the next two events but she is anxious, hoping there are no delays and that the remade Groat Road Bridge will be ready for when Edmonton hosts the ITU Grand Final in September 2020.

“That’s critical for us, 2020,” she said. “The bridge has not been looking that great in the TV shows for the last little while. So I think we’re excited that we’ll have a new bridge in 2020 that will look good.”

Edmonton’s civic events office is working with Edmonton Transit and the city’s road planners for all events including Intersteller Rodeo in July, and other concert series at the park’s amphitheatre.

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“We’ll maintain access to all of the parks,” El Mohtar said. “During events we will stop construction.”

READ MORE: Edmonton’s new Walterdale Bridge opens after lengthy delay

The finished product will be a wider bridge deck.

“We’re widening the sidewalks to become a shared-use path standard,” he said.

They’ll also widen the trails around Emily Murphy Park. The entire road surface from 87 Avenue to north of the river is also being renewed.

DIALOG Design is the main consultant, and Graham Construction will be the main contractor. The hope is they won’t run into the same types of problems that plagued the 102 Avenue Bridge that went over Groat Road, or the Walterdale Bridge.

El Mohtar confirmed that none of the project materials will be coming from far away, like what led to the other delays.

The budget is $48 million. The city is hosting an information session on Wednesday evening between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Mayfair Golf Club.

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