June 22, 2018
On budget, four months ahead of schedule and just in time for summer, the rehabilitated Mill Creek Ravine pedestrian bridges are now officially open.
“The Mill Creek trestle bridges are prominent visual landmarks in the Mill Creek Ravine and are loved by pedestrians and cyclists,” said Sam El Mohtar, Director of Transportation Infrastructure Delivery.
“Completing this rehabilitation on budget and ahead of schedule will provide residents the opportunity to safely use the Edmonton River Valley trail system throughout the summer months.”
The $7.7-million Mill Creek Ravine Pedestrian Bridges Rehabilitation project involved repairing two trestle bridges and replacing one trestle bridge and two glulam (glued-laminated timber) bridges. To recognize the trestle bridges’ historical significance, and largely as a result of public feedback, 20 to 25 per cent of the original wood was used in the rehabilitation of the bridges to maintain their authentic look and feel.
The reused wood was given new life in the bridge piers.
“This project would not have been possible without the insightful feedback provided by the public,” said El Mohtar. “A large majority of respondents felt the Mill Creek Ravine trestle bridges had historic value, and reusing wood from the original structures allowed us to improve the safety and functionality of the bridges, while ensuring the longevity of this piece of Edmonton’s history.”
The trestle bridges were constructed in 1902 as part of the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway, which was established to connect Edmonton and Strathcona and Calgary to the Canadian Northern Railway. The Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway was decommissioned in 1958, and the bridges were converted for pedestrian use after ownership was transferred to the City in the 1970s.
The three original structures were formally documented for historical reference based on the provincial Historical Resource Act.
Additional trail work and landscaping will continue over the next week.