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Misc. Infrastructure Projects

I kinda get what you're saying here. I've gotten stuck trying to go south from the river towards terwillegar, and there aren't a lot of options. looking at this bridge proposal, if 142 street is connected over Whitemud Drive, a bike lane of some sort north of the freeway could easily run through the neighbourhood, connecting to 142 Street down on the river flat, by the equestrian center. some better signage at each end (so the route is obvious to those of us who are passing through without checking a map beforehand) would help make this path a bit clearer. I've biked to that area fro downtown through the river valley numerous times, it's a lovely route, and doesn't take too long. I wouldn't be surprised if this bridge and better wayfinding help non-car commuters navigate through the area.
There's already a connector between Bulyea and Fox Rd by the equestrian center, it is not well signed and really steep but at least it's there. This bridge will greatly improve the connection between the Southwest, the University and Downtown. You are right, once you get to the equestrian center to get to Terwillager there are two options, one is through Fort Edmonton then going across the river a couple of times and deal with the gravel road between the Terwillegar Park and Haddow/23rd Ave (this is a great ride but not the best for commuting) or take the small path to Bulyea and cut over to the 53rd ave bridge and ride the Riverbend Rd path south which is nothing more than a glorified sidewalk.
 
The city is soliciting feedback for a new active transportation bridge over Whitemud Drive at 142 Street (near the Terwilligar Interchange):

View attachment 284681
This is a great time for me to share how I think Brookside might be the most bizarrely designed neighbourhood in Edmonton, and that this is a huge bonus for those living there.

Imagine growing up there as a kid. You aren't supposed to bike in the gigantic ravine that borders the entire east side of your neighbourhood, and a huge freeway borders the other three sides. There is only one road in-and-out, and you're supposed to bike on that hectic road that includes a freeway bridge overpass just to get out (since, of course, riding on the sidewalk is illegal). The nearest river valley access is largely hogged up by a horse ranch and a make-believe ye-olde-timey town. Weird place
 
@nv96 Wow, I've never noticed before how vastly overbuilt 53 Avenue is given that it is less than a kilometer long.

I shouldn't be surprised, though, overengineered roads are The Most Edmonton Thing You Can Do.
 
@nv96 Wow, I've never noticed before how vastly overbuilt 53 Avenue is given that it is less than a kilometer long.

I shouldn't be surprised, though, overengineered roads are The Most Edmonton Thing You Can Do.
The whole area had some pretty big aspirations that went sideways with the development of the Whitemud. Probably originally planned to have 53rd cross the Whitemud Ravine to connect with 51st ave (they have basically identical design). Just like how Riverbend Rd either used to connect with or was supposed to connect with 60th ave in Brookside, and same with 142st to Burton Crescent in Bulyea.

This all makes me wish I could have seen aerial photos of these areas right prior to the Whitemud being finished/built.
 
@nv96 Wow, I've never noticed before how vastly overbuilt 53 Avenue is given that it is less than a kilometer long.

I shouldn't be surprised, though, overengineered roads are The Most Edmonton Thing You Can Do.

53 Ave is oversized because it is the only road in and out of Brookside. I did a deep dive on this in C2E before it shut down.

The ORIGINAL original plan for Whitemud had an interchange connecting Riverbend road to 60 ave, between Fox drive and 53 Ave. It was never built because the plan changed to an interchange at 142 st immediately adjacent to Terwillegar drive (that's the actual reason for the left-in, left-out: the space inside the bend was meant for a loop ramp there) but that never got built either. The result is what exists today, i.e. that the residents in Brookside are stranded if 53 ave ever got knocked out.

This is from the original area structure plan for Riverbend / Terwillegar:


Which clearly shows an interchange at 60 ave. It explains why Riverbend road splits in two past 148 st, and why 60 ave is so wide. Also notice how regular the main road grid was, in contrast to the loop roads of Mill Woods.

This is from the 1974 Whitemud Functional Planning Study (Riverbend only):


The 60th ave interchange is deleted, but there is a 142 st access to Brookside and Bulyea Heights. It was never built and the neighbourhood was promised a pedestrian bridge instead.
 
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The whole area had some pretty big aspirations that went sideways with the development of the Whitemud. Probably originally planned to have 53rd cross the Whitemud Ravine to connect with 51st ave (they have basically identical design). Just like how Riverbend Rd either used to connect with or was supposed to connect with 60th ave in Brookside, and same with 142st to Burton Crescent in Bulyea.

This all makes me wish I could have seen aerial photos of these areas right prior to the Whitemud being finished/built.

Ask and you shall receive...

Here's an aerial from 1965. 142nd Street runs down at the centre-left of the frame. 53rd crosses along the very top. Whatever avenue existed before the Whitemud (45th?) runs through the centre of the frame, left to right:

1965Aerial_Vol4_No148.jpg


I'd never noticed the 53rd/51st alignment before, and it really is fascinating! Here's another shot in the series, focusing on the Lansdowne side of the ravine:

1965Aerial_Vol4_No150.jpg
 
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Thank you!!

If you ever stumble across any pre-Capilano Bridge photos, I'd also love to see those.

For you or anyone else who's interested, the City Archives has all their surveying aerials online. They have about a dozen sets (from 1924, '30, '43, '48, '52, '57, '65, '78, '88, and '98) digitized and freely accessible to view. The quality from the 1940s on is amazing too. Fair warning, there's a bit of a learning curve to figuring out how each "row" of pictures corresponds to the map, and there's plenty of finagling back and forth trying to find the exact spots you're looking for, but once you figure it out it's an invaluable tool that gives a really fascinating look into Edmonton's growth.


Here's the north bank of the Saskatchewan, showing the Highlands, Bellevue, and Virginia Park:

1965Aerial_Vol13_No115.jpg


And the south bank, showing Forrest Heights, the old ravine, and Capilano itself.

1965Aerial_Vol12_No141.jpg
 
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Wow! That was a pretty major undertaking on the north bank. That's a ton of earth they excavated and crazy to see how many homes they would have expropriated and bulldozed.

Here's what it looks like today for reference

gbHaBO8.png
 
Wow! That was a pretty major undertaking on the north bank. That's a ton of earth they excavated and crazy to see how many homes they would have expropriated and bulldozed.

Here's what it looks like today for reference

gbHaBO8.png

I grew up in Highlands and have explored all over the north bank. There's are still a few homes mid-bank in the area. A couple of these homes can be found as you go down the road to the 54th street footbridge. These homes are sorta in their own secluded conclave, which I always thought was kinda neat
 
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I grew up in Highlands and have explored all over the north bank. There's are still a few homes mid-bank in the area. A couple of these homes can be found as you go down the road to the 54th street footbridge. These homes are sorta in their own secluded conclave which I always thought was kinda neat
I grew up around there too. Surprisingly, I remember trick or treating at a house on the south side of Ada, just off 75th (pretty sure you can see the house in Citizen Dane's photo). And that was only maybe 20 years ago. Don't think it was there for much longer though, it probably was demo'd in like 2001.

And yep, I've done my fair share of exploring around there too. Definitely lots of old pieces of concrete foundation poking out all over that area. Cool stuff.
 
For you or anyone else who's interested, the City Archives has all their surveying aerials online. They have about a dozen sets (from 1924, '30, '43, '48, '52, '57, '65, '78, '88, and '98) digitized and freely accessible to view. The quality from the 1940s on is surpassingly amazing too. Fair warning, there's a bit of a learning curve to figuring out how each "row" of pictures corresponds to the map, and there's plenty of finagling back and forth trying to find the exact spots you're looking for, but once you figure it out it's an invaluable tool that gives a really fascinating look into Edmonton's growth.


Here's the north bank of the Saskatchewan, showing the Highlands, Bellevue, and Virginia Park:

1965Aerial_Vol13_No115.jpg


And the south bank, showing Forrest Heights, the old ravine, and Capilano itself.

1965Aerial_Vol12_No141.jpg
Was that a creek or a walking trail in the ravine? Either way, it's too bad that it got replaced with Gretzky Drive. At least the rest of the freeway project got mothballed.
 
A few weeks ago, I checked out the new park beside the Kathleen Andrews garage. It's cool to get so close to the smoke stack, and the plaques along the trail in the park have some neat historical info and pictures about the area. My biggest complaint is that there's a fairly strong smell of diesel in the air, due to its proximity to the garage. Access is also very poor for non-residents, and it'll certainly be easier to access once the Fort Road expansion is done and the new pedestrian connections are opened. As of now, I had to park at the Hughes gas station and walk along where I guessed the sidewalk was. It turns out I guessed right, but the darn sidewalk is so narrow that I had no way of telling it was there when it was covered with snow. My other option was to park in the neighbourhood on the other side of the CN tracks and walk from there. Either way, I'd be using a very bad sidewalk to get to the park.

If you're willing to make that walk, you should do it. It's a nice little park, and I look forward to visiting again when the snow is gone and I can enjoy some greenery!
20201118_145416.jpg20201118_145432.jpg20201118_145450.jpg20201118_150325.jpg20201118_150506.jpg
 

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