$48M Groat Road upgrades will take 3 years to complete

Upgrading a section of Groat Road and the Groat Road Bridge will take three years to complete, Edmontonians learned at an information session Wednesday.

Groat Road from 87 Avenue to Victoria Park Road and 3 bridges will get facelifts

Area residents check the details of the upcoming Groat Road construction project on display at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club Wednesday. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Upgrading a section of Groat Road and the Groat Road Bridge will take three years to complete, Edmontonians learned at an information session Wednesday.

Construction on Groat Road from 87 Avenue to the North Saskatchewan River, the Groat Road Bridge and two overpasses is expected to begin in April. The project will cost $48 million.

The work is long overdue, Sam El Mohtar, the city's director of transportation infrastructure delivery, said at the open house at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club.

The bridge was built in 1955, with the latest rehabilitation completed in 1990.

"This will extend the life of this bridge for 50 years," he said.

Work will stretch from 87th Avenue all the way north across the river to Victoria Park Road. The deck of the Groat Road bridge will be demolished and removed.

A City of Edmonton map shows the sections of Groat Road that will be under construction for three years. (City of Edmonton)

The east sidewalk of the Groat Road Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River will be widened to the standard of a shared use path.

The city plans to keep the road open during most of the construction, El Mohtar said. 

"There will be a single lane in each direction maintained throughout the project," he said.

"There will be some occasional road closures during night time and we'll maintain access to the parks."

Construction will be on hold during summer events like the ITU World Triathlon and the Heritage Festival.

That's good news for Sheila O'Kelly, president of Triathlon Series Edmonton, which takes place in July.

In 2020 Edmonton is hosting the ITU World Championships Grand Final, and O'Kelly is hoping the majority of the project will be completed before then.

"Seeing the details and the drawings of the bridge, understanding the resurfacing of the road and understanding the final product is exciting for us going into 2020," said O'Kelly. "For 2018, and 2019 we'll work around that hopefully.

"The benefits of the new bridge are great for us and great for the city."

David Grabski uses Groat Road to access the city's running trails. He said he's happy with the details of the project and the fact that he'll still get to use the parks and trails.

"It's going to affect everybody a little bit," Grabski said. "We're still going to be able to come and do what we want to do."

"The road will be better because it's getting worn out. You can tell driving on it. It's good they're updating it."

Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca