A temporary bridge over the Elbow River, near Inglewood, is set to open this week, as the city works to replace the aging 9th Avenue bridge.

The bridge from the city centre into the community is over 100 years old and is showing signs of being overstressed.

A temporary bridge will open early Thursday morning to support the construction of the new one.

Officials say access to businesses in the area will be maintained while the new bridge is being built.

“This week marks a big milestone for the project, work for the last three months has focused on the temporary bridge that is scheduled to open as of Thursday morning,” said Evan Fer, Sr. Structural Engineer, City of Calgary. “Our goal is to make sure there is very little impact to commuters.”

Early Wednesday morning, crews will close the bridge to finish the paving work on the temporary bridge and there will be lane restrictions in the evening while work is done on the transition areas.

The temporary bridge opens to motorists at 6 a.m. and there will be one driving lane in each direction.

There are also a couple of changes to the pathways in the area. Once the bridge is closed, pedestrians can cross the river using the MacDonald Bridge or the pedestrian bridge to the north of the current bridge.

“Pedestrians and cyclists will be detoured to the traverse pedestrian bridge just to the north of the existing bridge,“ said Fer.

Crews will then begin working to remove the old bridge and construct a new one in its place.

The new bridge will be raised by one metre to ensure it can withstand a flood and is expected to open in the fall of 2020.

“The permanent bridge will be similar in scale and size to the current bridge. It is an arch bridge that will be unique to Calgary. We will start work later this fall and it will be open by the end of 2020,” Fer said.

For more on the 9 Avenue S.E. Bridge replacement project, visit the city's website.

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