Higher and wider 9th Avenue S.E. bridge design unveiled

The city is going with an arch design for the new, $23-million bridge across the Elbow River.

$23M span will replace aging structure at entrance to Inglewood

An artist rendering of the proposed new Ninth Avenue Bridge at the entrance to Inglewood. (City of Calgary)

The city has unveiled the winning design for the replacement of the Ninth Avenue S.E. bridge that connects Inglewood to downtown.

It's going with an arch design for the $23-million crossing over the Elbow River. It will replace the current steel girder span, which is more than 100 years old.

Construction on the new four-lane bridge is set to begin later this year.

Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said that while he thinks the new design is beautiful, he worries the right factors weren't taken into consideration.

"There was a big debate in the community of Inglewood over whether replacing a three-lane bridge with a four-lane bridge made sense," Carra said.

"We appreciate the cars coming through our community every day bringing customers, but we're also not interested in speeding that traffic up."

Bridge designed for future needs

He said it was important that the bridge be able to accommodate future growth as it's meant to be a 100-year structure.

But he isn't sure city planners have figured out how a four-lane bridge will connect with the three lanes of a re-designed Ninth Avenue S.E. in Inglewood.

Another artist rendering of the proposed new Ninth Avenue Bridge, as seen from the bike path that skirts Fort Calgary. (City of Calgary)

"I told them I think you've got it wrong," said Carra. "I think I'm going to get a lot of angry calls to my office and I'm going to frankly agree with those angry calls."

Three designs for a new bridge were considered. Besides the arch, the city considered a truss and a shallow frame span.

Key to the choice of a replacement was that it be wider and be built above the floodway.

Access to be maintained during construction

The city will install a temporary two-lane bridge just south of the current span to keep traffic flowing to and from Inglewood.

Once the temporary bridge is in place, the current span will be removed and the new one will be built on the same alignment.

The Ninth Avenue bridge connecting Inglewood to downtown Calgary is more than 100 years old needs replacing. (Stephanie Wiebe/CBC)

The new Ninth Avenue bridge is expected to be open in the fall of 2020 or in early 2021.