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High Level Bridge


Staff member
Member Bio
Sep 22, 2015
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The High Level serves many masters — and has an unclear future
It's a bridge that everyone has an idea for, and everyone in Edmonton a stake in, making it perhaps the most valuable piece of real estate in the city.

And yet the future of the High Level Bridge isn't set in stone.

Full Story (Metro Edmonton)
#1 -- as I proposed to the City several years ago, they should look at a new crossing that aligns south side 109 with north side 109 and make it a "living bridge" that supports retail, offices and residential. I can share that proposal for anyone who is interested. #2 the existing high level is no platform for a high speed rail (you have got to be kidding me -- LOL X10) #3 the existing tram solution should become a year-round solution and should be augmented with an historic (conceptually) tram that runs along Whyte from UofA to Bonnie Doone. What is so damn special about LRT that it has to be the only people-moving solution available to the City -- think broader Admin. and City fathers (and mothers -- again LOL) -- have you ever gone for a ride on San Francisco's cable cars? Bikers, you should like the upper deck solutions but City Admin. has for so long not wanted to "sully" the image of the historical bridge that they can't conceive of protective barriers that would allow for that kind of solution. When you are constipated. take a simple laxative.
Misinformation feeds rumour mill on Edmonton's High Level Bridge
Crews finished installing Edmonton’s $3-million suicide barriers on the High Level Bridge this week, a project that’s drawn widespread criticisms.

The sidewalks have been narrowed to the point where cyclists report catching their handlebars on the unforgiving beams.

Others say the barrier wires are too easy to climb and one photo published on Twitter shows a man slipping behind them. But misinformation feeds the rumour mill. Workers say the Twitter photo was taken before wires were properly tightened. To get the backstory, we talked with Byron Nicholson, director of special projects for infrastructure, and Kris Andreychuk, a social worker by training in citizen services.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)

Woman survives jump from High Level Bridge same day mysterious figures appear climbing suicide barrier
A 22-year-old woman jumped off the High Level Bridge on Sunday afternoon, the same day an evocative art installation of five figures scaling the new suicide barrier mysteriously appeared on the west side of the historic structure.

She survived the plunge with no obvious injuries, but was taken to hospital as a precaution, said Edmonton police Insp. Regan James.

She was found walking along the river bank east of the bridge after she scaled the suicide barrier and jumped about 3:30 p.m., a few hours after the last figures were taken down by city workers.

The woman told police she regretted jumping. James said it had nothing to do with the art installation.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)
City barred from removing High Level Bridge pipes for pedestrian safety
City officials were barred from removing pipes that create a "safety hazard" for cyclists and pedestrians on the High Level Bridge, after council voted to keep them.

In documents Metro obtained through freedom of information, city engineers respond to cyclist's space concerns after suicide barriers were installed earlier this year by proposing to remove six standing pipes, which are located at the “pinch” on the north end of the east pathway.

But the documents also show that council wanted the pipes left alone.

Full Story (Metro Edmonton)
Edmonton librarian makes calendar of trucks stuck under the High Level Bridge
Sometimes it’s fun to laugh at other people’s misfortunes.

Case in point: An Edmonton woman made a calendar of semi trucks getting stuck under the High Level Bridge. Each month features a different photo of an 18-wheeler whose driver didn’t pay enough attention to the height restrictions.

“I just said to my husband one day, ‘ God that happens a lot, it’s probably more than one a month,” said Deb Feisst.

“And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, I could make a calendar.’ So I did.”


SONiC 102.9 ‏@sonic1029 Dec 20
SONiC Girl Deb just dropped off a calendar she made entirely with pictures of trucks getting stuck under the High Level bridge. #yegtraffic
High Level Bridge to be studied for possible modifications
Edmonton is looking for a consultant to examine potential options to modify the High Level bridge, which sees large numbers of cars and pedestrians cross daily.

The consultant, which will be hired by the city, will be tasked with doing a structural feasibility assessment of the bridge and will provide concepts for potential modifications.

The modifications could include widening the sidewalks on the lower deck, adding two LRT tracks and two 4.2-metre wide paths on the upper deck, or combining both of those scenarios.

Wider sidewalks, LRT tracks and shared-use paths on Edmonton’s High Level Bridge to be studied
Several months after the introduction of suicide barriers on the High Level Bridge created an uproar with cyclists due to narrow paths, the City of Edmonton is now looking for a consultant to examine different options for the busy thoroughfare.

The consultant will be tasked with doing a structural feasibility assessment of the bridge and providing a feasibility study and conceptual bridge modification strategy report for four scenarios.

Each would include maintaining the current vehicle lanes on the lower deck of the bridge.

The four options include:
  • Widening the sidewalks on the lower deck to 4.2 metres wide;
  • Adding two LRT tracks and two 4.2 metre wide shared-use paths on the upper deck;
  • A combination of the two scenarios;
  • Review the feasibility of the south approach sidewalks widening.
Edmontinans weigh in on future of High Level Bridge
Edmontonians have many ideas on what should be done with the High Level Bridge, as the city gets ready to study the future of the historic span.

The city recently put out a request to hire a consultant to do a structural feasibility assessment of the 104-year-old bridge, which will require rehabilitation in the next five to 10 years.

Assessors will also provide Edmonton with concepts planners can use for potential modifications, which include widening the sidewalks on the lower deck, and adding LRT tracks and two 4.2-metre paths on the upper deck.

“Now is the perfect time to assess the structural feasibility of various options to determine what may be possible,” said city spokesperson Kelly FitzGibbon, in an email Monday.

The study comes after cyclists raised concerns over the current shared-use path, calling it too narrow ever since the city installed suicide prevention barriers at a cost of $3 million.
Edmonton hires design engineer to increase use of High Level Bridge
The City of Edmonton has hired a consulting engineer to look at what else they can do to the High Level bridge, besides the regular rehab work that’s been scheduled five years from now. Extending the width of the sidewalks or shared use paths is one of the options under consideration.

The move is in response to the large number of proposals from the community to increase “active transportation” on the 100-year-old bridge, including walking, cycling and even adding access to the upper deck.
Coun. Ben Henderson has fielded calls from people who don’t feel as safe as they did prior to last year’s installation of suicide barriers.

“There’s a lot of pedestrians that are really hesitant to use the bridge now.”

That’s because of the close quarters they find themselves in with cyclists who go whizzing by, especially on the eastern side of the bridge, which is narrower than the western edge.

High Level Line is ripe with potential, and it’s not just about the bridge. It is a multi-modal thread that connects the north and south sides of central Edmonton, activates a series of high-potential spaces, and challenges how well-designed infrastructure can change how we experience our city.

The Line has the ability to transform the urban fabric surrounding it. It stimulates the surrounding properties and enables a wide variety of uses: retail and residential frontages, dining, recreation, agriculture, celebration, people-watching and getting close to nature.

It’s real, it just hasn’t been built yet.
With the structure built to carry heavy loads, I see no reason why not to spend the $ needed at do a couple things: reserve space for 3 tracks, 2 for LRT, 1 for HSR, and cantilever larger paths where they are right now, or off the west side of the upper deck.

I don't like degrading what could be extremely useful transit infrastructure with a park on the existing upper deck footprint though.
Finally, somebody on the right track! I like this concept, park and all. We should never want to give up the ERRS -- for what -- something that might get you there 5 minutes faster (wherever "there" is). This is a beautiful concept that honours the magnificent high level bridge, the historic area known as Old Strathcona, the Legislature Grounds, and the area north of Jasper Avenue, including MacEwan University. YESSSS!!!