“Funding public infrastructure is about building communities and helping people, while creating good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper,” said the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. ”As a former city councillor, I know how important the new bridge and trails are to the people of Edmonton. It is my pleasure to mark the completion of these projects. The larger River Valley Alliance Capital Program is a wonderful initiative that will improve access to the North Saskatchewan River and make our community more livable for decades to come.”
Construction of the $24.5 million Terwillegar Park Footbridge began in August 2014 and construction of the $3.5 million West End Trails began in July 2015. While sections of the West End Trail opened earlier this year, the complete trail connections and the footbridge opened for public use on October 21, 2016. Both projects were completed on time and on budget.
“The Terwillegar Park Bridge and West End Trails will help create more opportunities for families to get outside and enjoy Edmonton’s parks and trails from both sides of the North Saskatchewan River,” said the Honourable Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Our government is committed to moving Alberta forward by ensuring municipalities have the resources they need to build strong, dynamic communities for Alberta families. We are proud to invest in infrastructure, like this, that helps create jobs and promotes active living.”
“On behalf of my City Council colleagues and the residents of Edmonton, we thank the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the River Valley Alliance for this investment in our river valley,” said City Councillor Michael Walters. “The Terwillegar Park Footbridge and West End Trails allow us to continue to showcase our beautiful river valley and provide even more opportunities for all citizens to enjoy one of our city’s greatest assets.”
The footbridge and trails are essential links to connect existing trails in Edmonton’s southwest. The new 262 metre long footbridge will link Terwillegar Park to Oleskiw River Valley Park and the 5 kilometres of trails will link Terwillegar Park with the recently completed Fort Edmonton Footbridge and will connect Terwillegar Park to the Anthony Henday pedestrian river crossing.
“The completion of the Terwillegar Park Footbridge is a milestone for the River Valley Alliance and all our municipal partners,” said Chris Sheard, River Valley Alliance Board Chair. “It represents a step in connectivity for the Capital Region River Valley Park that was envisioned in the RVA Plan of Action. And an added benefit of the design of the stressed ribbon bridge is that it is an architectural complement to the natural surroundings of the river valley.”
The City of Edmonton thanks the surrounding communities, businesses and park users for their patience during the construction of the Terwillegar Park Footbridge and West End Trails.
The remaining Edmonton River Valley Alliance projects include the Mechanized River Valley Access, East End Trails, Touch the Water Promenade and Boat Docks and Launches.
River Valley Alliance Funding
In 2013, the City of Edmonton received $72.9 million in funding for five initiatives as part of the River Valley Alliance (RVA) Capital Project. Of this, the RVA contributed $48.6 million, and the City of Edmonton contributed $1.7 million. The remaining funding was granted from the provincial government. The Terwillegar Park Footbridge is part of the City’s RVA initiatives and has a budget of $24 million.
The RVA is a collaboration of the seven municipalities along the capital region’s North Saskatchewan River Valley that share a common goal – to preserve, protect and enhance the river valley park system for the year round accessibility and enjoyment of citizens and visitors.
In January 2013, the RVA launched a major $90 million Capital Project that includes 13 priority initiatives in 18 sites. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $30 million through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component towards the RVA Capital Project. The Government of Alberta is also contributing $30 million through the Capital Region River Valley Park grant."