Calgary Zoo Pedestrian Suspension Bridge

Calgary, AB

After being closed for several years due to safety concerns and 2013 flood damage, the pedestrian bridge at the Calgary Zoo was demolished as part of the flood mitigation work.

An Iconic Structure

ISL designed a 60 m replacement suspension bridge of a similar nature that is set to become a destination and iconic structure, much like the former bridge was.


While the bridge had to be extended to ensure a 3 m clear inside width to meet modern standards for accessibility, ISL designed it with the same abutment locations so that the new abutments actually straddle the original ones leaving the original abutments in place for posterity.

Balancing Aesthetics with the Budget

Despite a tight overall budget, the Zoo wanted an aesthetically pleasing and architecturally striking signature structure that would offer lively and dynamic characteristics for its pedestrian users. To meet these requirements, ISL was efficient in both the design and details, using lightweight superstructure elements that trickle down to smaller substructure and foundations, as well as advanced analysis of structural dynamics and a lightweight FSC certified Alaskan Yellow Cedar deck.

Withstanding Future Floods

The team ensured the geometry of the new bridge can accommodate high flood water levels of 2013 and higher.

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