A Timeline of the St Patrick’s Bridge
After unexpected delays, Calgary’s newest bridge opens on Monday, October 20 and there are several special events planned to celebrate its opening
Come Monday, Calgarians will be able to enjoy a new outdoor luxury, St Patrick’s Island pedestrian bridge. The bridge was originally slated to open last year, but the 2013 flood delayed the big unveiling until October 20, 2014.
The bridge serves as a link between several of Calgary’s most happening spots including a new public park on St. Patrick’s Island (to open next summer), the East Village and Bridgeland.
Here’s the history of St. Patrick’s Bridge
The St Patrick’s Bridge first opened. It linked the East Village and the west side of St Patrick’s Island. But it wasn’t the perfect bridge: it didn’t connect to the north side of the Bow River.
A design competition was launched by the CMLC. During the course of the competition, 33 design concepts came in from all over the world.
Construction on the bridge began and the building of the steel arches started. These arches are between 16 and 20 metres long and weigh up to 200,000 kilograms.
The metal arches of the bridges arrive in Calgary after crossing all the way from Montreal on transport trucks.
The St. Patrick’s Bridge was just three months from being complete when the city flooded. The bridge deck, which had only recently been laid down, was lifted and twisted from the force of the water. The deck had to be replaced.
It’s one year later than the initial timeline projected, but St. Patrick’s Bridge opens to the public on October 20, 2014.
The ramp from the bridge down to St. Patrick’s Park remains closed until the summer of 2015. Several unique elements are still being finished, such as a public seating area and a grassy knoll for outdoor performances in the summer or tobogganing in the winter.
A drawing of the St Patrick’s bridge at night.
The grand opening
Rain or shine, the grand opening of the redesigned bridge kicks off at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, October 20. Mayor Naheed Nenshi, members of City Council and members of the CMLC will officially declare the bridge open. If you’re one of the first 200 people there, you’ll get some free chili.
(Oct. 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Sports on the bridge
Lunchtime fitness classes aren’t just in the East Village anymore. On Tuesday, October 21 catch a tai chi demonstration by FLK Taoist Tai Chi Society. Or if you prefer to get involved, take part in a free yoga class led by Jilaine Antoniuk on Thursday, October 23.
(Tai chi, Oct. 21, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.; yoga, Oct. 23, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.)
Breakfast on the bridge
This is one for all the commuters. Whether you’re walking across the bridge or riding your bike into work, the first 200 people to the bridge will be treated to a gourmet breakfast by Phil and Sebastian.
(Oct. 22, from 7 a.m.)