Preserving the spirit of the Inglewood bridge
As the gateway to one of the oldest communities in Calgary, the 9 Ave. S.E. bridge has been synonymous with Inglewood since it was built in 1909, as the city grew from a small town into a bustling metropolis. Throughout the years, it has served as a key transportation artery for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers between the historic Inglewood and Ramsay communities, Calgary’s downtown and the developing East Victoria Park and East Village areas.
After 110 years of service and countless trips across its span, it’s time to replace the deteriorated bridge, which has reached the limit of its useful life. The new bridge will meet the needs of people travelling in the area now and in the future, with the new design bringing the bridge up to modern standards. Through September, crews are working to remove the bridge, making way for a new structure that will continue to connect citizens and visitors over the Elbow River, for over 100 years.
“The 9 Ave. S.E. bridge is an iconic landmark in Calgary, so it was important for us to pay tribute to the original bridge in designing the new structure,” says Project Manager Evan Fer. “This includes using a similar Camelback modern arch structure and incorporating historical elements into the bridge and surrounding area.”
We’re commemorating the 110-year-old bridge in a number of ways, to make sure its presence and history are part of the new bridge’s design and remain part of the surrounding historical communities. This includes:
- Installing four historical images of the old bridge along the pathway’s barriers
- Erecting an information kiosk, that provides insight to the bridge’s beginnings and long history
- Using the old pedestrian railings within the newly designed and opened Mills Park, farther east on 9 Ave. S.E.
- Storing pieces of the old bridge for future use in other creative projects and initiatives
The original “Inglewood” community sign, including the black goose, will be relocated east to the newly landscaped Outwest Park. It will be supported with material from the old bridge and be placed among the sculptures in the garden, where it will continue to welcome people into the community.
Capture to preserve
As part of a University of Calgary project, the 9 Ave. S.E. bridge has been digitally preserved alongside other heritage resources in the province. Using terrestrial laser scanning, the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology created an interactive, digital model of the bridge, allowing it to be explored from every angle.
Visit the Capture to Preserve website for a look at the bridge and other historical locations in Alberta.
To stay up to date on the 9 Ave. S.E. bridge replacement project, visit calgary.ca/9avebridge.