Weadick Crossing at The Calgary Exhibition & Stampede is a bridge that is thoughtfully designed to accommodate Stampede Park’s heritage values and cultural requirements, and to withstand the impact of floods waters from the Elbow River. A flood actually washed away the previous bridge at this location.
The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede is one of Alberta’s most well-known and beloved cultural institutions. Part of the Stampede Board’s vision for the Park’s development into a year-round community hub was a large 30 acre parcel of land on the east side of the Elbow River called ENMAX Park. RJC was entrusted as the Prime Consultant to design a bridge as a gateway to Stampede Park from the planned ENMAX Park that would be used by pedestrians, vehicles, horses and horseback riders. Design challenges included, no piers in the Elbow River, an elevated bridge deck to accommodate a 1:100 year flood elevation, flood impact resistance, and a scale and pageantry that would complement Stampede Park’s flare and style.
A single span steel arch bridge spanning from bank to bank was created which minimized impact on the rivers Brown Trout population and Rafters who use the river on summer days. During construction, the biggest challenge was controlling the movement of the steel arch while the concrete deck was constructed. The design team and Contractor developed a staged construction sequence that avoided temporary supports in the river channel.
The new steel through-arch bridge supports a concrete deck and features unique attributes, such as demountable handrails to reduce flood drag and arch bracing members set high enough above the bridge deck to allow horseback riders and banners to cross the bridge. Weadick Crossing opened in June of 2015, just in time to welcome the world to the 103rd Calgary Stampede.