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First look at new 9 Avenue SE bridge connecting Inglewood to downtown Calgary

WATCH: It’s a first look at what the new 9 Avenue S.E. bridge could look like when complete. But as Christa Dao explains, there’s concern over what an extra lane might mean for the community.

The City of Calgary has revealed the winning design for the proposed 9 Avenue S.E. replacement bridge.

The $23-million bridge is an arch design and includes a multi-use pathway for pedestrian and cyclist traffic.

Artist rendering of proposed 9 Avenue S.E. bridge.
Artist rendering of proposed 9 Avenue S.E. bridge. City of Calgary
Artist rendering of proposed 9 Avenue S.E. bridge.
Artist rendering of proposed 9 Avenue S.E. bridge. City of Calgary
An artist rendering of proposed 9 Avenue S.E. bridge.
An artist rendering of proposed 9 Avenue S.E. bridge. City of Calgary

A temporary two-lane bridge south of the current Inglewood bridge will be installed to direct traffic when construction begins, which is expected to start later in 2018.

READ MORE: Bridge repairs could lead to traffic backups near downtown Calgary

City officials said the original bridge is more than a century old and required replacing because it has outlasted its original lifespan and has a reduced load-carrying capacity.

because it has outlasted its original lifespan and has a reduced load-carrying capacity.

“The steel has rusted and deteriorated and so we want to replace it before it becomes an issue,” city transportation and infrastructure project manager Evan Fer said.

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“The arch bridge (design) was well-received. We had a number of positive comments on it.  We used that info to select that final design.”

The city also said the current steel girder span does not meet current design and engineering standards.

According to the Ward 9 councillor, everyone seemed to like the look but raised concerns about what an extra lane might mean for the neighbourhood.

“The concern of the community is that a wider bridge would create more of a freeway situation. Right now, we’re having big interesting conversations about alignment and the rebuild of 9th Avenue,” Gian-Carlo Carra said.

“On wider roads, people go faster. And if they are going fast right into a slow area, that creates a conflict,” he said.

The city said it has not decided whether to keep the bridge at its current three-lane width or add a fourth lane, which would only be reserved for bus traffic.

That decision is expected by the summer.

Stone sculptures at the park will be removed and placed in storage for the duration of construction but will return once the new bridge is complete.