Canadian Consulting Engineer

Finalists selected from 33 schemes for Calgary bridge

November 23, 2009
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

A competition for conceptual designs for a new pedestrian bridge caused excitement in Calgary, especially when...

A competition for conceptual designs for a new pedestrian bridge caused excitement in Calgary, especially when the finalists were announced on November 17. The competition drew 33 entries, including many from well-known Canadian consulting engineering firms but also from around the world. Over half the entries were from firms with offices in Calgary, and the rest were from Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia.

The bridge is a two-span structure linking St. Patrick’s Island over the waters of the Bow River to Calgary’s East Village to the south and to a pedestrian trail and Bridgeland to the north. The south section of the new bridge replaces an existing bridge near the west end of the island, but the connection to the north bank will be new.

The three finalist teams who are now asked to develop their designs for the bridge are Halsall Associates of Calgary with RFR of France;  Buckland and Taylor of Vancouver and Kitchell of Victoria, B.C.; and ARUP and Flaco Schmitt of London, U.K. (see

The public had been invited to comment on all 33 schemes for the St. Patrick Island Bridge. They were all posted on a website and shown at open houses in October. A 10-member advisory committee consisting of business men, architects and others chose the three finalist schemes and will select the winner next year. The three finalist teams are being paid $50,000 each to cover the costs of developing their designs in more detail.

The bridge project is part of a larger plan to revitalize areas along the Bow Valley Riverfront in the East Village area under the auspices of the city-owned Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. The revitalization plans include a 4-kilometre urban promenade known as Riverwalk along the Bow River. The walk was conceived by Greenberg Consultants and Stantec, and is now being designed as a collaboration between  CMLC, Stantec, Progressive Engineering and Moriyama and Teshima Planners. The public is now being asked to comment on phase 1 of the Riverwalk.  See the video at

The Spanish architect/engineer Santiago Calatrava is designing another high profile pedestrian bridge in Calgary. Calatrava’s tubular covered red and white Peace Bridge will carry cyclists as well as pedestrians across the Bow River from Eau Claire to Sunnyside. The bridge’s $22 million cost has caused some controversy. It is scheduled to be completed in late 2010.



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