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Friday, Feb 26, 2021

[AE75] Bridge aids Alberta economy

As we celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2021, we take a look back at our legacy of achievements and milestones over the years, as chronicled in our company newsletter that began publishing in 1967...

Originally appeared in AE Today, July 1984 issue

A bridge under construction

In July 1983, the federal government created several "Special Recovery Projects" in order to stimulate Alberta's sagging economy. One such project was a new bridge over-the Bow River, some seven kilometres west of Banff on the Trans Canada Highway. The bridge is part of a major plan to twin the Trans Canada through Banff National Park. Associated Engineering (Edmonton) was charged with design and construction supervision.

The successful tender for construction was $1.68 million - considerably less than the $2.7 million originally budgeted. Associated Engineering considered a number of structural systems and selected the most economical one requiring the least number of precast girders. 

The bridge is 175 metres long and enables the highway to cross the main CPR line, the Bow River and Highway 1A. It consists of seven 25 metre-long concrete spans on timber foundations. "The selected superstructure system consists of prestressed concrete 'bulb tee' girders, made continuous by a poured-in-place concrete deck," said Bala Balakrishnan. 

"The substructure consists of piers on timber piles and abutments on steel piles. Rubber pot bearings were used under girders. The expansion joints were designed to allow 125 mm movement at the east abutment and 160 mm movement at the west abutment," he added. 

Acting as resident engineer for Public Works Canada, a staff member will remain on site until September 1984.