The crucial Glenmore Trail artery had become congested with bottlenecks at the Elbow Drive and 5th Street SW intersection. In order to upgrade Glenmore Trail to free-flow status with increased capacity, extensive phased excavation, retaining wall construction and traffic detouring were necessary. Construction of the 5th Street SW Bridge significantly improved traffic flow and access to the adjacent Chinook Centre, Calgary’s busiest shopping mall. The single span bridge carries three lanes of traffic and a pedestrian sidewalk over six lanes of traffic and an exit ramp on Glenmore Trail.
Design of the precast, pre-stressed concrete girder superstructure was optimized through extensive analysis to minimize the structure depth and avoid expensive additional excavation. The design of the bridge was checked in the various staged configurations to fit the sequence of construction to accommodate the selected detour scheme. By pre-building the north abutment of the bridge and shoring the south detour roadway, it was possible to construct the bridge while accommodating the maximum detour road capacity on the extremely tight and complex site. Prefabrication of the superstructure girders off-site minimized construction time and advanced the schedule for opening the heavily travelled roadway below to traffic.