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City of Fort Saskatchewan

The Government of Alberta recently announced a commitment to “twin” the Fort Saskatchewan Highway 15 Bridge across the North Saskatchewan River linking to Sturgeon County. Discussions on incorporating a pedestrian crossing into this new bridge are underway so that this important link in TCT’s The Great Trail will be complete. The project is expected to take five years to complete. A provincial historic site plaque recognizing the history of the Athabasca Landing Trail is being developed for installation near the beginning of the ALT. Fort Saskatchewan’s existing section of trail will connect south to the City of Edmonton and River Valley Alliance TCT system via new sections of trail being built in Strathcona County this summer. The County has completed one section of the trail north of Sherwood Drive, the Petroleum Way Trail has been started, and work on the other Sherwood Drive sections will commence shortly.

Fort Saskatchewan Bridge

Several important multi-use trails – the Trans Canada Trail, the Athabasca Landing Trail, Alberta's Iron Horse Trail and the trails of the North Saskatchewan River Valley – intersect at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. A pedestrian bridge across the North Saskatchewan River between the City of Fort Saskatchewan and Sturgeon County has been proposed as an essential connection for these multi-use trails in the region. Located immediately upstream of the Highway 15 roadway bridge to Fort Saskatchewan is the abandoned Canadian National Railway bridge piers, which provide an ideal location for the proposed pedestrian bridge.

An engineering study was conducted in Fall 2010 to identify whether the existing piers can be used for a pedestrian bridge. The study showed the piers are stable and can be reused; however, structural strengthening and repairs will be required before any potential reuse. In January, 2011, the same engineering firm developed three conceptual design alternatives with cost estimates for a bridge built on the CNR piers and for a new bridge with its own independent supports. Federal government funding for the pier evaluation and conceptual bridge engineering study was provided through a grant provided by Trans Canada Trail with project direction and the support from the City of Fort Saskatchewan and Alberta TrailNet Society. A meeting to discuss the engineering reports was held on February 28, 2011 and three designs were considered: a Buffalo Truss Bridge, a suspension bridge, or a single arch bridge spanning the entire river. Efforts to raise funds are currently underway.

Based on the importance and site exposure of as a landmark, new tourism and recreation destination, and critic al piece of trail infrastructure in the capital region, this project is an ideal candidate for corporate, government and other donor investments.