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Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge opens ahead of schedule

Get out for your fall photos, Edmonton. The new Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge is now officially open, on budget and ahead of schedule.
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New pedestrian bridge opens along 23 Ave. in Edmonton. Photo City of Edmonton

Get out for your fall photos, Edmonton. The new Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge is now officially open, on budget and ahead of schedule.

The bridge located along 23 Avenue, forms a key link in Edmonton’s river valley trail network as it provides a safe crossing over Whitemud Creek and access to the MacTaggart and Larch Sanctuaries.

Sam El Mohtar, the City of Edmonton's director of transportation infrastructure delivery, said, "the new structure is a tied arch bridge with a slender, open design that helps it fit within the natural area. It will provide a safe connection to the surrounding trails.” 

The $6.3 million project involved replacing the more than 100-year-old bridge with a structure that meets current standards. As well, the new bridge is installed higher from the ground to improve the bridge’s resilience to floods while also allowing larger animals such as moose or deer to walk under the bridge.

The new bridge is in the same location as the old bridge which reduces its impact on nature and strengthens ties to the existing trail network, the City said in a news release.

Built in 1914, the original Smith Crossing Bridge was named after the Smith family, who were pioneers in the area. It was a vehicle bridge until 1961 when it was changed to a pedestrian bridge. A piece of the old bridge has been used in a new interpretive plaque near the bridge.