9th Avenue bridge to shut down as new temporary span opens Thursday

Drivers will need to take a detour if they want to cross the Elbow River between the East Village and Inglewood early Wednesday and Thursday.

Interim crossing opens at about 6 a.m. with one lane of traffic in each direction

An artist's rendering of the new Ninth Avenue Bridge, which will cost $23 million and replace the century-old structure that currently spans the Elbow River. (City of Calgary)

Drivers will need to take a detour if they want to cross the Elbow River between the East Village and Inglewood early Wednesday and Thursday.

The City of Calgary will shut down the old bridge between 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday to complete paving work on the new detour to the temporary Ninth Avenue S.E. bridge.

The temporary bridge opens officially Thursday morning, according to an update on the city's website.

The interim bridge will have one lane of traffic in each direction. The new weight restriction will be a maximum load of 39 tonnes, which should accommodate the heavier vehicles that often travel and make deliveries in the area, according to the city.

It will remain open to traffic until the new, permanent Ninth Avenue S.E. bridge opens in late 2020.

Detour details

While the old bridge is closed early Wednesday, motorists can cross the Elbow via the MacDonald Bridge, about 200 metres up river near the Calgary Transit garage.

Other options to get around the closure are to use 25th Avenue S.E. or 12th Street S.E. via the Zoo Road Bridge.

At about 6 a.m. Wednesday, the old bridge will reopen. It will stay open for the rest of the day with some lane restrictions in the evening. At 12:30 a.m. Thursday, it closes permanently.

The bridge was closed for demolition at 12:30 a.m. Thursday, and drivers will have to use a temporary bridge until the new one opens in 2020. (Submitted by Mike MacLean)

Drivers can again use the Macdonald Bridge or Zoo Road Bridge to cross the river early Thursday.

At 6 a.m. Thursday, the temporary bridge will officially open.

There is no new crossing for pedestrians or cyclists. They will still have to cross the river on the MacDonald Bridge to the south or the Elbow River Traverse pedestrian bridge to the north.

Cyclists who use the Ninth Avenue S.E. bike lane must cross at Sixth Street S.E. They can then use the widened sidewalk area to continue riding east, to the pathway connection.

New bridge will have multi-use pathway

The new, four-lane Ninth Avenue S.E. bridge is expected to cost $23 million and is scheduled to open as early as fall 2020. It will replace the current steel girder span, which is more than 100 years old.

Pedestrians and cyclists will have to cross either at the MacDonald Bridge to the south or Elbow River Traverse pedestrian bridge to the north of the old Ninth Avenue S.E. crossing. (City of Calgary)

The new bridge will have cycling and pedestrian pathways on both the north and south sides.

Once the temporary bridge opens, crews will prepare to remove the old bridge in pieces, which should be completed by this fall.


  • An earlier version of this story said the interim bridge would have no restrictions. In fact, the new weight restriction will be a maximum load of 39 tonnes.
    Jul 16, 2019 4:04 PM MT


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