'Fantastic' Terwillegar footbridge opens in river valley
'It's a spectacular addition to the park system. It just floats over the water'
A new bridge across the North Saskatchewan River is now open to pedestrians and cyclists in south Edmonton.
Construction on the $24.5-million bridge began in August 2014. Work on the trails began in July 2015.
The new 262-metre footbridge links the Terwillegar neighbourhood to Oleskiw River Valley Park. The trail network snakes through five kilometres of forest, linking with the recently completed Fort Edmonton Footbridge.
'A high-tech rope bridge'
The structure is Edmonton's first 'stressed-ribbon' bridge. Similar to a suspension bridge, the support cables are embedded directly into the deck below the walking surface.
The design is low maintenance, quick to construct, and has minimal impact on the surrounding environment, said Rob Marchak, the city's director of urban initiatives.
"It's just really a high-tech rope bridge," Marchak said in an interview with CBC News.
"Minimal steel has gone into this design, and that's what makes it so exciting. It has got a very small footprint and the spring on it is so much fun."
Hannah Whitesel who runs and cycles in the river valley for hours every week was impressed with the design.
"It's great. Fantastic. I love it," said Whitesel, who was there for the ribbon-cutting.
"It's a spectacular addition to the park system. It just floats over the water and really encourages you to walk across and explore."