City of Calgary to replace Peace Bridge glass with steel tension cables

An act of vandalism caused destruction to Calgary's Peace Bridge in July. Carolyn Kury de Castillo, Global News

The City of Calgary will be replacing the glass on the Peace Bridge with steel tension cables in an attempt to reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

This comes after a man was arrested for shattering 70 glass windowpanes along the bridge in July, wracking up almost $1 million in damages.

In a news release on Thursday morning, the city said the steel tension cables will “reduce costs” for ongoing maintenance.

Last year, the city said the railing panels cost approximately $10,000 each to replace while the roof panels cost around $14,000 each to replace.

Click to play video: 'Calgary police seek help identifying suspect after popular Peace Bridge damaged'
Calgary police seek help identifying suspect after popular Peace Bridge damaged

Calatrava Architects and Engineers and another local architectural firm worked with the city to come up with the solution, the city said.

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Construction is expected to start next spring and end next summer.

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“This is a much more durable material from vandalism and it’s easier to maintain. The cost to maintain the new railing system is the same cost to maintain the glass,” said Charmaine Buhler, bridge maintenance manager.

“We looked at multiple aspects… At the end of the day, we wanted to make sure we also respected the architectural design (of the bridge).”

The city said access to the Peace Bridge remains open as engineers work to design the layout of the cables. According to the release, the bridge sees about 9,000 visitors daily during the summer.

“Over the past decade, the Peace Bridge has become an iconic part of our skyline. Seeing it heavily vandalized repeatedly has been disheartening and costly,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said in a statement.

“I heard from many Calgarians asking for a more practical and permanent solution. Replacing the bottom glass panels with durable tension cables will be more cost-effective, all while maintaining the bridge’s unique design.”

Global News has reached out to the City of Calgary with a request for comment.


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