Canadian Consulting Engineer

Calgary’s St. Patrick Bridge competition winners announced

March 29, 2010
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Halsall Associates together with RFR of Paris, France have won a competition for design concepts for a bridge ...

Halsall Associates together with RFR of Paris, France have won a competition for design concepts for a bridge to cross the Bow River in Calgary.
The competition had 33 entries in its initial stages, including entries from many consulting engineering firms. The shortlisted three designs were announced in February and included teams led by Buckland and Taylor of Vancouver, and Arup of London, U.K.
Halsall-RFR’s winning design is a low profile arched structure that skips from the city’s East Village onto St. Patrick’s Island, then to the neighbourhood of Bridgeland to the north. It replaces the 30-year old GC Kin pedestrian bridge which only crosses part of the span.
The competition was held by the Calgary Municipal Lands Corporation, which asked the public for input and received 2,000 comments. As well, CMLC took into account the views of its advisory committee and technical experts before coming to a decision on March 22.
Chris Ollenberger, president of CMLC, said the bridge design “resonated with Calgarians,” but noted that “it was a difficult decision,” and “all of the three finalists were engaging in their public presentations and their final submissions reflected their passion for the project.”
The public apparently appreciated the winning project’s simplicity and saw it “emulating a stone skipping across the Bow River.” Other members of the public saw it as rolling foothills or the Chinook arch.
John Ford is the engineer in charge of the project at Halsall’s Calgary office. “We’re elated,” he said at the announcement. “We tried to capture what the community wanted to reflect the unique characteristics of the location.”
The CMLC is redeveloping the East Village and waterfront to try and integrate it into the downtown core. The area had become run down and deserted.
The bridge is to be lit with animated lighting and should be completed by 2012. It is to cost $20-$25 million.
Calgary is to have another new bridge to be built farther upstream. The Peace Bridge was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.



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