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Birchwood Trails: Proposed Pedestrian Bridge

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Alignment Overview

Birchwood Bridge: Alignment Overview

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Option 1: Box-Girder Bridge

Birchwood Bridge Option 1: Illustration

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Option 2: Suspension Bridge

Birchwood Bridge Option 2: Illustration

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Option 3: Cable-Stay Bridge

Birchwood Bridge Option 3: Illustration

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Design Downloads

Option 1: Box Girder Bridge
Option 2: Suspension Bridge
Option 3: Cable-Stayed Bridge
Alignment Overview
Construction Impacts

Related Download

Active Transportation Master Plan
The Active Transportation Master Plan identified the need for a bridge connection between Thickwood and Timberlea for pedestrians and cyclists.

In 2014, the Active Transportation Master Plan provided direction for the development of a trail system for pedestrians and cyclists to easily move through the urban center of Fort McMurray. In this document, an important trail link was identified as missing – a bridge connection between the neighbourhoods of Timberlea and Thickwood. This link would help provide pedestrian and cyclist access to and from downtown and between the neighbourhoods of Timberlea, Thickwood and Parsons Creek.

In early 2015, Associated Engineering (AE) was hired to develop the preliminary design for a future pedestrian bridge connection through the Birchwood Trails, a natural ravine used by many Fort McMurray residents for walking, running, cycling and cross country skiing. Preliminary design has begun and the ravine is now being studied for potential bridge locations. Geotechnical considerations (i.e. slopes, soils), environment conditions (i.e. wildlife, vegetation, Conn Creek), connections to the existing trail system, existing user needs, and travel times for pedestrians and cyclists, are being investigated to help narrow down the location of the pedestrian bridge.

The preliminary design of the Birchwood Pedestrian Bridge and associated trail connections is scheduled to be presented to Council in fall 2015. Based on the review of the preliminary design and acceptance from Council, the timing of the detailed design and construction will be developed.

Public Meetings: Have Your Say

You're invited to a pair of public meetings to view the preliminary design for the proposed pedestrian bridge over Conn Creek and Birchwood Trails, between Timberlea and Thickwood. Your help is needed to help select the preferred pedestrian bridge type. Subject matter experts will be available to discuss the project with you and gather feedback and a comment form will be available. Drop in:

Sept. 22, 2015
MacDonald Island Park Recreation Centre
3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Sept. 23, 2015
YMCA Thickwood
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this pedestrian bridge being considered?

Gaps exist within the Birchwood Trails system. This bridge is part of the solution to better connect the trails. The exact location of the pedestrian bridge still needs to be determined.

How will a final location for the proposed bridge be chosen?

Research is underway to help determine the best location for the bridge. This research includes a topographical survey, investigating existing trails and connections, understanding trail users’ needs, geotechnical considerations like slope stability and soils, looking at potential environmental impacts and adhering to regulatory requirements. Safety, accessibility, feasibility and costs are factors as well.

When can I have input?

We are planning a public engagement session this fall where you can assess options and provide feedback. Staff and subject-matter experts will be on hand to answer questions.

When will the bridge be built?

Council will review the recommendations in late 2015. If approved, detailed design work will begin and construction dates will be announced thereafter.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the RMWB Project Manager for the Birchwood Trails Pedestrian Bridge:  Bipul Bhowmik, M.Eng., P. Eng., P.E., Transportation Engineer at bipul.bhowmik@rmwb.ca 

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