Crossing Canada: 10 epic bridge projects in progress

Crossing highways, rivers, train tracks and more, these spans are helping Canadians move.

A rendering shows the Gordie Howe International Bridge. – Bridging North America

It’s no wonder bridges make great metaphors. They connect two places, help thousands overcome major obstacles and often stand for decades.

They are some of the most vital pieces of infrastructure and are relied upon by millions to move goods and services through the country. But they don’t stay standing without some help. Here are 10 major bridge projects that aim to repair, replace or create new crossings in Canada.

The Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project -Surrey, B.C.

Built for $4 million in 1937, the Pattullo Bridge is a key connection between the communities of Surrey and New Westminster. But it’s reaching the end of its life and is being replaced by a new four-lane bridge that includes modern, wider lanes, separated by a centre median barrier for safety. The new bridge is scheduled to open in 2024. Once the new bridge is open, the existing bridge will be removed.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge – Windsor, Ont.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge – named after the late Red Wings legend – will connect Windsor, Ont. and Detroit, Michigan, south of Historic Fort Wayne in southwest Detroit. Running one-and-a-half miles in length and spanning six-lanes, the project will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America. It is on track to be completed in 2024. Recent drone footage showed off construction progress so far. 

Limberlost Place pedestrian bridge – Toronto, Ont.

Crews lift a pedestrian bridge into place in downtown Toronto. – PCL

A two-story mass timber pedestrian bridge has been installed at Limberlost Place, marking a major milestone for the Toronto project. PCL announced that the bridge was erected 65 feet above street level, connecting level five of Limberlost Place to level six of the college’s Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences at George Brown College (GBC). Because the bridge was prefabricated off site, installation only took one day.

Groat Road Bridges – Edmonton, Alta.

Crews use gantry cranes to keep bridges open during work.

When Edmonton’s Groat Road Bridges and Road Renewal Project needed traffic to keep flowing while work was being done, Graham rose to the challenge. The team used two mobile gantries mounted in tandem to complete work on several bridges while not interrupting the more than 40,000 drivers who use the route daily.  They were able to complete the work on-budget at $45.6 million and within the 33-month schedule.

Nisutlin Bay Bridge – Teslin, Yukon

A rendering shows the design of the new bridge. – Yukon Government

Graham Infrastructure LP is working to replace an aging bridge in the Yukon. The $160-million Nisutlin Bay Bridge project is the largest capital project in the territory’s history. The original bridge was built in 1953 and traffic along the Alaska highway has increased. The new bridge was planned with input from the community and in collaboration with the Teslin Tlingit Council. Indigenous art is being incorporated into the design. Work is expected to wrap in 2026.

 Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge project – Montreal, Que.

The  existing Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge has already undergone reinforcement work to prolong its life.

Quebec officials recently announced they have finalized the selection process for work on the new Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge reconstruction project. The $2.3 billion project will have two separate structures and accommodate three lanes of traffic each way, a multi-purpose lane and wide shoulders for buses. Officials plant to gradually put the new infrastructure into service near the end of 2026.

Saint John’s Harbour Bridge – Saint John, N.B.

The project to rehab this New Brunswick bridge is entering its fourth and final phase. Work includes deck rehabilitation of both ramps located on the east end and replacement of bearings and pier repairs on the underside of the bridge. It’s expected to be completely refurbished by 2026.

St. Vital Bridge Upgrades – Winnipeg, Man.

Crews began working on St. Vital Bridge improvements in Winnipeg earlier this year. The $52-million upgrades include a bridge surface to extend the structure’s lifespan by 50 years, a widened multi-use pathway on each side, improvements to the pedestrian tunnel under the bridge and more. Work is expected to wrap next year.

Granville Bridge Upgrades – Vancouver, B.C.

A rendering shows upgrades being done to Vancouver’s Granville Bridge. – City of Vancouver

The Vancouver bridge work is part of the Granville Connector project, which includes converting two west-side travel lanes on the bridge to separated walking, rolling, and cycling routes, similar to the protected lanes on the nearby Burrard Bridge. Additional improvements include the installation of new traffic signals, wayfinding signage, and the creation of a pedestrian and bicycle connection to the Arbutus Greenway at the south end of the bridge. Work is scheduled to wrap in fall 2024. The contract is being carried out by Pomerleau.

Wildlife Overpass – Canmore, Alta.

Last year crews broke ground on a 17.5-million wildlife overpass east of Canmore. It is the first wildlife overpass to be built outside of Banff National Park. Officials say it will greatly improve safety as there are an average of 69 vehicle-wildlife collisions annually on the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff National Park and Highway 40.


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