City picks Walterdale bridge design

The City of Edmonton's transportation department has chosen a new look for a signature bridge to replace the aging Walterdale bridge.

The City of Edmonton's transportation department has chosen a new look for a signature bridge to replace the aging Walterdale bridge. 

The winning concept: a one-span arch bridge with three lanes and a multi-use trail and sidewalks on both sides.

"It provides a nice scene in front of the high level bridge so it complements the river valley and legislature and everything around it already," said city transportation engineer Robin Casavant.

After considering numerous designs, the department unveiled the design at a public meeting Tuesday night.

"Overall I like the design a lot," said Sam Coplowicz, who lives in the neighbourhood and uses the bridge daily. "I think it's a nice attractive design, simple and clean. It works."

Others though were hoping the winning design would make a more impressive statement.

"I'm not sure it's the design I'd choose," said Tim Marriott. "I would like to see a bridge that reflects the historic nature of the crossing. It’s the most historic river crossing in the city's history.

The winning bridge comes with a winning price tag.

The project is expected to cost nearly half of the original estimate — $130 million.

The design will now be presented to the transportation and public works committee on April 12, before heading to council April 27.

The city is hoping the new bridge will be open in 2014.