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Deh Cho Bridge

2009- 2012 | Fort Providence, Northwest Territories – The Deh Cho Bridge crosses the Mackenzie River at Kilometer 23 of the Yellowknife Highway 3, near Fort Providence, NT. This is the first bridge crossing the Mackenzie and permanently replaces a ferry, which ran during the summer months, and ice road services during the winter.

The bridge’s remote northern location with severe winter conditions of up to -40°C was extraordinarily challenging and required meticulous planning. Under a fast-tracked schedule of only six months, McElhanney executed a complete redesign of the 1045m-long composite truss, full-depth precast concrete deck, pylons, stay cables, abutments, bearings, expansion joints, and lock-up devices, while ensuring compatibility with existing substructures. The team was also responsible for developing a feasible erection scheme for the steel truss that involved two half-kilometer-long incremental launches. This rapid redesign meant that a previously off-schedule project was successfully completed by November 2012. The remote and harsh site conditions led to a design that minimized field activities. Steel pier bent fabrication was performed in Miramichi, NB, and superstructure components were fabricated in Quebec, British Columbia, and in the state of Maryland.

In 2013, this project earned the following awards:

  • Gustav Lindenthal Medal for outstanding engineering and construction work
  • BC Steel Design Award of Excellence from CISC-ICCA
  • Award of Merit from ACEC-BC
Deh Cho Bridge