Mill Creek Ravine is an important urban park and key component of the City of Edmonton’s ecological and transportation network. The trail system in Mill Creek Ravine makes it a popular recreational destination, and a useful commuter link into Downtown Edmonton. The City of Edmonton wanted to maintain the functionality of this segment of the Mill Creek Ravine trail system by extending the service life of the pedestrian bridges. The many pedestrian bridges that connect the trail system crossing over the meandering creek create a unique experience for trail users.
Originally built in 1902, the timber trestle bridges were part of the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway. The bridges initially connected the railway that ran between Edmonton and Calgary and was the first link across the North Saskatchewan River. The trestle bridges were later converted for pedestrian use beginning in the 1970’s.
ISL was retained in 2016 to complete a condition assessment and recommend design options for the five bridges that are part of this segment of the trail system: three historic trestle bridges and two smaller single-span bridges.
The Mill Creek Pedestrian bridges officially opened on June 22, 2018 a full four months ahead of the proposed schedule and within budget. ISL and Alberco worked through the cold winter months to minimize impact to the popular trails and ensure the public could enjoy the newly rehabilitated bridges throughout the whole summer.
Avonmore, a community located east of the Mill Creek Ravine, cherishes these old bridges so much that they updated their street signage to incorporate an image of the historic trestles. ISL’s ability to deliver a rehabilitation project that maintained the original character of the bridges ensured they were extremely happy with the final product.
The Ritchie Community League held a special BBQ for the entire project team in appreciation for opening early so they could enjoy the bridges and pathways during the summer.