Santiago Calatrava fans and locals who have been dying to see Calgary’s Peace Bridge come to life over the Bow River will be happy to know that the candy cane-colored helix structure’s inauguration will finally take place on Saturday, March 24th. Originally slated for completion in the Fall of 2010, the $24.5 million dollar project has been controversial since residents complained about the high expense. But now that it is complete, at least 1,500 cyclists and pedestrians are expected to use the magnificent, low-impact tubular bridge every day!
Because of various geometrical design constraints, Calatrava opted to build a low single-span bridge, which only has a 7 meter envelope because of a no fly zone overhead and the river’s high ice and water levels below. Most exciting for us, this tubular steel structure has zero supporting piers so that aside from the original construction, its long term environmental impact is minimal.
The Peace Bridge has separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians. It is enclosed, to protect its users from incredibly harsh winters, but it also also permeable and breathable. This signature red and white design – a favorite for world-renowned Calatrava who claims it was challenging but fulfilling to work on this awe-inspiring project – will allow locals world-class mobility at any time of year. If you are around and feel like celebrating its inauguration, there will be a family-oriented celebration on the south end at Peace Park.