Passengers on the West Blue Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) line are treated to impressive city vistas as they ascend and descend the elevated guideway structure between downtown, the Sunalta Station and the Bow Trail Corridor. This section of the elevated guideway structure carries the inbound and outbound tracks through Sunalta Station. The LRT tracks are fixed directly to concrete plinths on the guideway structure. The elevated structure also supports side loading platforms and the elliptically framed station roof structure. The guideway supports the LRT vehicle loads prescribed in the Calgary Transit design guidelines and is designed as a “lifeline” bridge under the bridge code. The guideway substructure receives the pedestrian bridge that spans over the CPR tracks on the north side of the station head at the mezzanine level.
This substructure is also designed to accommodate a future wider pedestrian bridge connection at this location, plus a future elevated pedestrian link to adjacent properties. Vertical movement of pedestrians between the station platforms and street level is via elevator, escalator and stairs. The guideway superstructure is constructed integral with the tall piers to eliminate bearings at these locations. The post-tensioned guideway structure is stabilized longitudinally by cantilever action of the tall piers, with expansion joints located at the interface with the adjoining wall supported sections of the station head. Delay strips were incorporated into the guideway structure to accommodate concrete shrinkage prior to post-tensioning. The guideway structure is founded on drilled concrete piles socketed into the relatively shallow bedrock.