The bridge acts as a striking entrance into the downtown area and is a unique place in North America’s largest urban parkland.
A single span, twin through-arch structure made out of steel, the bridge is greater than the length of two football fields at 206 metres from bank to bank. It stretches across the North Saskatchewan River and carries three lanes of northbound traffic, whilst the east side of the bridge has a path for pedestrians and cyclists.
Two major roadways were realigned in order to connect the bridge, which resulted in a unique structure with the ability to blend in with the natural setting, making this a ‘landmark gateway’ to the city.
The location was essential to the project as the aim was to have a public space where the city and surrounding nature can be experienced and celebrated, and to make the experience enjoyable - through both modes of travelling.
The path curves on the downstream side of the bridge arcs, away from traffic, narrows in the middle and widens closer to the river banks so those cycling or walking across can feel closer to nature. A wooden boardwalk lays at the entrances to the path to add ‘warmth and connection’ the river setting, and pedestrians can enjoy watching the river flow.
After driving down the hill through the valley’s forest, the bridge is dramatically revealed along with downtown Edmonton’s iconic skyline. The arches frame the views of the river and the city, making drivers feel they are entering somewhere special.
The flawless harmony of architecture, engineering and the public has made this bridge more than a transportation project. The bridge has been embraced by the people of Edmonton and has become a backdrop for precious moments like engagement or wedding photos.
The Walterdale Bridge has been quickly welcomed as a part of Edmonton’s identity and, designed to last for roughly 100 years, it will continue to define the city for decades to come.
With studios in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco, DIALOG is a multi-disciplinary firm who fully believe that design can, and should, meaningfully improve the wellbeing of our communities and the environment we all share. To find out more, click here.
City of Edmonton: Client
DIALOG: Bridge design and structural engineering team leader, architecture, landscape architecture and electrical design
ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd.: Prime consultant, project management, roadway design
COWI North America Ltd.: Bridge design sub-consultant
Al-Terra Engineering Ltd.: Roadway design sub-consultant
Thurber Engineering Ltd.: Geotechnical and materials testing
Spencer Environmental Services: Environmental assessment and permitting
Turtle Island Cultural Resource Management: Historical resources impact assessment and aboriginal consultation
HLB Lighting Design: Lighting design