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Big Elbow Trail East Bridge

2018 | Kananaskis Country, AB

In 2013, Southern Alberta Floods caused significant damage to Alberta Forestry and Parks’ (AFP) trail network and infrastructure throughout Kananaskis. In the following five years, significant effort was made in restoring and improving those trails to reinstate the rewarding user experience that Alberta’s Provincial Parks are known for. 

The bridge along the Big Elbow River Trail in Kananaskis Country suffered irreparable damage during the event and AFP chose to move forward with a structure replacement. AFP had already obtained a feasibility study and selected a new location for the bridge over a rock canyon. To bring this project to completion and provide the much-needed link across the river, AFP engaged McElhanney to provide abutment design, tender documents, and construction management. 

McElhanney immediately identified that re-routing the trail would be necessary to safely direct users to the new bridge and proceeded with the detail trail design. McElhanney coordinated a geotechnical investigation for the detailed design of rock anchors and abutment for the 30m span fiberglass superstructure to be installed.  

Following design and tender, AFP required construction management services to ensure the bridge installation was completed efficiently and adequately. The remoteness of the site presented the greatest challenge during the construction phase as there was limited vehicle access and no cell service in the area. McElhanney’s extensive backcountry project delivery experience provided the expertise and insight needed to provide construction oversight in this remote environment. 

McElhanney provided:

  • Trail re-alignment 
  • Detailed design of substructure and approach ramp 
  • Construction management 
Big Elbow Trail Bridge
Crossing the Big Elbow Trail Bridge
Taking a break at the Big Elbow Trail Bridge