Built in 1968, the Jaipur Bridge, named after Calgary’s sister city of Jaipur, is one of the primary south connections between the Eau Claire area and Prince’s Island Park. After more than 50 years in service, the bridge reached the end of its service life and no longer met the current demands. As a prequalified firm under the “new bridge” category, the City of Calgary chose our team to provide engineering services to replace the pedestrian bridge.
This project scope includes options evaluation, design, tender preparation, and construction services in replacing the existing Jaipur Bridge. The new crossing will be flood resilient, enhance the natural environment, provide better hydraulic conductivity of the lagoon channel, and integrate with the vibrant upgrades planned for the neighborhood – detailed in the Eau Claire Public Realm Plan.
Preliminary work involved environmental studies and permit applications, hydraulic and geotechnical studies, utility coordination, stormwater and drainage assessment, constructability of the structure, surveying of the area and existing structures, and class 3 cost estimate. The work required detailed coordination with other active and future projects adjacent to the proposed site to create an effective area-wide design to provide a continuous, safe, and accessible riverfront, promoting year-round activities. The preliminary phase for the Jaipur replacement bridge involved developing three working concepts, which are vetted with project stakeholders to form the recommended solution.
The aesthetic is one of the key design considerations for Jaipur Bridge as it is located in Downtown Calgary and is one of the landmarks in the area. The new Jaipur Bridge is a 6m wide, 60m long three-span bridge promoting the natural look of the park using various building materials such as weathering steel, stainless steel, wood, and textured concrete wearing surface. The unique bridge rail combined with a ledge provides spectacular light patterns to the bridge deck when night falls. Innovatively using LED light on the bridge is not the only sustainable design component. The functionality enhancement of the Eau Claire Lagoon drainage system also reflects the sustainability concept. Additionally, we provided constructability plans to minimize environmental and social impacts during construction, which will enhance social sustainability for the bridge construction.
COVID-19 posed challenges to the construction industry to maintain the supply chain and maintain additional health and safety protocols during 2020, when we completed the Jaipur Bridge design started tendering and construction. Hence, structural steel and concrete material and qualified personnel may not be available, and it may also lead to higher material costs. To eliminate this uncertainty, during design and before tender, our team proactively reached out to industry representatives of steel and concrete suppliers, and internal project PMs for their experience with material availability and price during this time. The proactive outreach helped us find the available materials with reasonable costs and kept within the project construction budget.
After overcoming challenges via design and tendering phases, we delivered aesthetic, functional, and sustainable bridge design; now, the bridge has begun construction and is scheduled to open in June 2022, just before Canada Day.