Canadian Consulting Engineer

Steel girders buckle badly on Edmonton 102 Avenue bridge

March 31, 2015  By CCE

City of Edmonton engineers are hoping that they can reopen a major traffic artery, Groat Road, by April 7 as work continues to try and stabilize the girders of a bridge being built to cross overhead on 102 Avenue.

On March 16 during overnight construction, four out of seven steel girders being installed buckled badly. Photographs show them twisted by many inches into an S-shape.

The contractor brought in cranes to carry the weight of the structure while it installed bracing and put the seventh girder in place to stabilize the structure. So far no-one knows why the girders buckled.

The new structure has a clear span of 100 metres, replacing an existing bridge that dates from 1910 and is being demolished. The project is budgeted to cost $32 million and is due to open in the fall of 2015. Graham Construction is the contractor, and according to an article in the Edmonton Sun, AECOM and Supreme Steel are involved.


The girders have been gradually straightening themselves, but it is unknown at this stage whether they can be salvaged or by how long the problems will slow progress on the project.

Meanwhile city traffic on Groat Road, which carries approximately 42,000 vehicles per weekday, is being diverted.

Click here for information on the City of Edmonton web site.

Click here for the article in the Edmonton Sun



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2 Comments » for Steel girders buckle badly on Edmonton 102 Avenue bridge
  1. cyrus says:

    Never try save when you compensate the engineers. They have to have peace of mind when they are busy with design. It is not just like a doctor’s job that if he/she makes a mistake a single life will be involved. The damages from the engineering failure is huge and sometimes is not able to substitute by anything.

  2. Andy Haydon says:

    Such a clever animal aren’t we? Deming talked about this many years ago; “stop awarding business on the basis of price alone”. But no! we do it all the time in many places but never seem to learn the lessons of history. The collateral damage isn’t just re-work and delays its brand damage, safety, quality, and a whole lot more. If these additional (un- looked for) costs were factored in it would make “cheap” look like what it is; an accident waiting to happen.

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