Edmonton

Replacement plans in the works for 11 crumbling bridges in Mill Creek Ravine

Preliminary plans will be to make the bridges wider, taller and less of an eyesore

Plan will be to make each one wider, taller and less of an eyesore

This bridge in the Mill Creek Ravine was among those repaired or replaced during a 2018 rehabilitation of five bridges. (David Bajer/CBC)

Almost a dozen pedestrian bridges in Edmonton's Mill Creek Ravine are in line to be replaced to the tune of about $3.5 million.

Water coming down from the ravine has caused the 11 bridges, located between 34th and 50th streets in Mill Woods, to deteriorate past the point where they can continue to be safely maintained, according to a report to city council.

"They're quite old, they've fallen into disrepair," Ryan Teplitsky, a supervisor with the city's transportation infrastructure department, told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM on Tuesday.

"The plan is to replace them."

Preliminary plans will make the bridges wider and taller by raising their heights. The removal of tripping hazards will create a better experience for recreational users, while getting rid of the structural and surface deterioration will enhance the visual appearance, the report says.

Some crumbling bridges in Mill Creek ravine need to be replaced. What that means for river valley trail users. 4:53

City council is set to hear more information about the environmental impact of these upgrades and sign off on them later this month.

Teplitsky said the city wants to reduce the impact this will have on pedestrians in the areas much as possible. To do this, the city won't close down all of these bridges at once, working on five at first, then four, then the final two. Detours will also be provided around these bridges while work is being done.

"We're going to start early in 2021 and it should all be wrapped up by the fall," Teplitsky said.

A public information session, expected to happen later this year or in early 2021, will provide information about construction details, trail closures and how traffic will be managed and redirected.

These upgrades follow a $7.7 million project completed in 2018 that repaired five other bridges in the ravine.

A bank along the Mill Creek Ravine near 80th Avenue is heavily eroded and a tree toppled down. The effects of erosion from the ravine are leading to needed upgrades of several bridges in the area. (Allan Bolstad)

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