Prepare for bridge disruption, Calgary commuters warned

Commuters in Calgary are being warned to avoid the 14th Street bridge as it undergoes some major work starting next month.

Calgary drivers can expect more detours and delays in a few weeks as one of the city's busiest bridges undergoes major work.

The 14th Street SW bridge, offically known as the Mewata Bridge, is slated for some upgrades next month.

About 45,000 vehicles cross the Bow River daily on the bridge, creating plenty of wear and tear on the 60-year-old span.

City spokeswoman Carissa Vescio said regular inspections revealed the bridge's joints need to be replaced, but she said Calgarians should be assured that "the bridge is safe — that the replacement of the expansion joints is just a maintenance requirement."

Vescio said the work, starting at the end of summer, is scheduled to last four weeks, and while the city will do its best to minimize traffic problems, the repairs will likely overlap work already underway along 14th Street SW.

"So as far as the traffic detours and road closures go with this particular project, we are going to leave the lanes open during peak hours, that's rush hour," Vesscio said. "And we would limit the lanes during off-peak hours — so that would be after rush hour —  so that will hopefully ease the situation."

Jonathan Quarton, a cyclist who lives in the area, said all this construction has been frustrating.

"It's been a pain, either biking or driving. We've had to change our entire route," he said, adding he worries further detours will mean even longer commutes.

The city will release more details about scheduled detours closer to the time of the project.