Project Update – March 29, 2021

What’s Happening in Traffic This Week

Westbound Trans-Canada Highway Shifting to Detour

Please expect continued delays this week as final preparations on the Trans-Canada Highway detour (between Old Banff Coach Road and Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W.) are completed. The westbound lanes are expected to be shifted onto the detour early next week.

All work is weather dependent. Please check 511 Albertaand The City of Calgary’s traffic information map  for up-to-date information on traffic detours and speed reductions. For all other project information, please visit

We appreciate your patience during construction.

Bow River Bridge title banner

And We’re Back

The form travellers have been installed on the north piers. Form travellers are pre-assembled forms that are filled with concrete (similar to other forms) to make a bridge segment. Once the concrete has cured, the forms are moved to the end of that segment and the process begins again. What makes this unique is that the bridge segments are cast-in-place, which happens to be several stories above ground.

The view on the south side of the river is very different than the last images we shared in the fall.

North Project title banner

Heavyweight Champion Girders

If there were an award show for bridges, this one would take home the prize in two categories: heaviest girders transported in Alberta and largest pre-cast NU* girders in Calgary. These concrete beams tip the scales at 136,658 kg each (301,279 lbs), stretch to just under 60 m in length and measure 2.8 m tall. They are so heavy the transport trucks had to take Highway 36 to cross the Red Deer River on the journey south from Edmonton because the bridge could handle the weight. 

*NU girders were developed by the University of Nebraska’s Center for Infrastructure Research in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Roads. They are an I-girder series that uses a unique cross section and high-strength concrete to achieve longer spans.

Have a look at the drone footage of the girder crossing the bridge on the Photos + Videos page.

Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. Interchange

Installing Bird Deterrent Tape

Several homes backing onto the Transportation Utility Corridor have bird nesting boxes along the back fence. The 2021 migratory bird nesting season is approaching and the best, most proactive way to avoid having migratory birds disturbed by construction is to encourage them to distance themselves and their nests away from the active construction area. Similar to last year, bird deterrent tape will be installed along the fences adjacent to the construction zone prior to April 15.

Bird deterrent tape is an effective, nonintrusive way to discourage birds from nesting near the active construction site. Residents can relocate their nest boxes, temporarily seal the entrance, or remove them to encourage the birds to nest elsewhere this year. Any relocations must be undertaken prior to the birds returning from the wintering grounds.

Integral Bridge Piles

In an integral bridge, the expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes are absorbed by the flex of the steel H-Pile, rather than bridge expansion joints and bearings. Piles for an integral bridge are constructed by drilling (or boring) a hole, inserting a pile sleeve or casing, driving a pile inside the casing and then filling the space between the pile and the casing with a compressible material. Much like a building in an earthquake, this shallow sleeve around the top of the pile provides enough flexibility to absorb and distribute forces from the bridge.

Stockpiles by Aspen Woods

Beginning this week, more topsoil will be stockpiled within the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC) along the northwestern boundary of Aspen Woods. Over the course of the project, numerous semi-permanent stockpiles will be created within the TUC. There is no limit to the height or length of the stockpiles, provided they meet slope stability requirements.