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Trail bridge/abutment package restores Calgary washout

August 15, 2016


The unprecedented Alberta floods of 2013 caused over $700 million in damage and displaced over 100,000 people. Griffith Woods Park, part of Calgary’s expansive riverside trail network, lost three bridges in the extreme weather event. 

The AIL team was pleased to have been selected to replace one of them. We put together a package using a steel truss bridge from our AIL Group sister company, Algonquin Bridge, and a precast abutment and sill system from our precast partner.

Only site access via narrow trail
The 20.4 m span was delivered in two sections and transported along the narrow recreational trail to the site and placed all in one day. The cambered sections were lifted into place by a small crane and spliced together with the help of a temporary pier made from the lock blocks.


For better flood clearances, the new bridge utilized an Underhung Floor Beam Truss design and was set at a higher grade than its predecessor. This parallel chord design offers the shallowest superstructure depth (and greatest clearances) below the deck surface.


Calgary’s recreational trail system was started in the 1960s and, at over 800 km, is the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America. 


Project name: Griffith Woods Natural Environment Park - Site A Water Crossing
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Owner: City of Calgary  
Engineer: Dillon Consulting  
Contractor: Volker Stevin  
Product: Algonquin Pedestrian Bridge with Concrete Block Abutments
Application: Stream Crossing
Dimensions: Span 20.4 m, Width 3.5 m 
Installation time: One day for bridge placement