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Posted on: July 2, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Pedestrian bridge opens

Banff, AB – The new Bow River pedestrian bridge and utility crossing in Banff, built to withstand the 100-year flood it experienced just 12 days ago, opens to the public today — a week after the original planned opening, but still three months ahead of schedule.

The first new crossing of the Bow River in Banff in 90 years, the pedestrian bridge has already become an iconic feature of the town, and a favorite with photographers. The location had been contemplated for a bridge as early as 1914, and most recently in the award- winning Banff Downtown Enhancement Conceptual Plan. The last bridge to open was the Bow River vehicle bridge in 1923.

With its 113-metre length, including the 80-metre central span, the pedestrian bridge is among the longest timber bridges in the world, and the glulam beams are among the largest installed in North America.

With all long -span footbridge structures, vibration is a key consideration and engineers developed a special “tuned mass damper” system, designed to reduce vibrations from walking or jogging. The system consists of two different weights suspended from the bridge with cables, which help to counteract the vibrations. This enabled the use of wood for the low-profile bridge, designed specifically this way to be in harmony with the surrounding natural environment. Some vibrations still will happen in normal use and are to be expected with any structure of this type.

All the wastewater from the north side of the Bow River has now been diverted. The pumping system is housed in a new wet well on the north side of the bridge. All pumping, pipework and power supplies has been designed for 100 per cent redundancy. But in this case, there's a backup to the backup: the old pipes embedded in the river will remain in place as an emergency overflow in case of a simultaneous failure of all of the primary and back-up systems.


403.762.1207, CELL: 403.431.2307

Facts about the Bow River pedestrian bridge
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