CMLC Opens Pedestrian Bridge Between East Village & Inglewood
New Elbow River Traverse creates vital link between Calgary’s inner city and surrounding communities
A river is a beautiful thing, and it’s not surprising that Calgary’s first neighbourhood – East Village – took root at the confluence of the Elbow and the Bow Rivers. But when it comes to moving people in and out of Calgary’s core, those same rivers pose significant obstacles.
That’s why a bridge is also a beautiful thing.
“A critical objective of the East Village Area Redevelopment Plan and East Village Master Plan is to integrate East Village with adjacent communities, facilities and amenities,” says Michael Brown, President & CEO, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) – the organization that’s been overseeing redevelopment of East Village since 2007. “The Elbow River Traverse is a simple, elegant pedestrian bridge that spans the Elbow River from Fort Calgary to the community of Inglewood.
“For pedestrians and cyclists, it will be a key connector and safe passage between RiverWalk, Fort Calgary, East Village and the downtown core on one side of the river and, on the other side, the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay as well as Calgary’s extensive network of pedestrian and cycling pathways.”
At 65 metres in length, the Elbow River Traverse is expected to accommodate 800 to 1,000 pedestrians and cyclists per day – a number certain to increase as the build-out of East Village continues.
“The Traverse is a direct outcome of an extensive public engagement process CMLC undertook in 2007-2008 as part of the envisioning of the RiverWalk Master Plan. That engagement revealed inadequate connectivity to Inglewood and Ramsay and safety challenges facing pedestrians and cyclists using the high-volume Inglewood Bridge, which sees more than 25,000 vehicles a day,” adds Neil MacKimmie, Senior Development Manager, CMLC.
The engineering team overseeing design and construction of the Elbow River Traverse is Read Jones Christofferson – a Calgary-based firm with a deep understanding of the site’s context and the need to create a simple, functional, universally accessible connection for pedestrians.
While the Elbow River Traverse is now open to the public, the Fort Calgary plaza on the east landing will not be open until later in September.
Imagined as a mixed-use, amenity-rich master-planned neighbourhood in the downtown core, East Village will be home to more than 11,000 residents upon completion in 2027. With local amenities like RiverWalk, St. Patrick’s Island, New Central Library, National Music Centre and an urban shopping centre, East Village has become a highly desirable neighbourhood in Calgary’s downtown core.