The pedestrian overpass at 61st Avenue and Macleod Trail SW is a long anticipated connection across Macleod Trail with an extension directly into the second floor of Chinook Centre. The primary objectives of the project are to provide improved connectivity between adjoining properties, alleviate traffic congestion, and provide a safer, more inviting crossing over Macleod Trail.
The Chinook overpass exists within the greater context of a Station Area Plan, which includes revised land use, provisions for a new multimodal transportation network, and an upgraded retail high street between the Chinook LRT station and Chinook Centre. RJC, as Prime Consultant on the project, developed multiple bridge alignments, access structure options and unique span configurations. The project is cost-shared between the City of Calgary and Cadillac Fairview, involves complex legal land considerations and exists within a busy pedestrian and vehicle environment. Additional challenges overcome during design include: a broad extent of buried utilities, minimal available land, and traffic signals in close proximity to the span.
All alignments involved major visual impacts to the adjacent properties, so landowner consultation was a major project component. The bridge design was adjusted in response to these consultations and the effort put into adequately meeting stakeholder needs resulted in a better contextual fit. A harmonious relationship between the bridge design and its urban environment is a key measure of project success.