Rotated Ellipse Arch Pedestrian Bridge

Eye-catching 50-m steel arch bridge provides a key link for pedestrian and cyclist routes

  • Spans the six lanes of the Bow Trail roadways, two LRT tracks, and a multi-use trail near each of the abutments
  • Replacing a steel slant-leg bridge pedestrian overpass, the new structure is much wider and offers more accessible pathway connections with gradual inclines and curved ramps, linking pedestrians and cyclists to local cycling routes and the river pathway system.
  • Constructed as part of the Calgary West LRT extension, the design was made particularly complex by the arch’s rotated elliptical shape, which is rotated about both vertical and horizontal axes.
  • The two pipe arches were also inclined inwards, toward the bridges centerline.
  • The north abutment continues the elliptical theme by carrying the curve design through the exposed portion of the wall.
  • The bridge’s offset ellipsis design mirrors the West LRT station canopies, and was inspired by the Chinook arch and snow drifts which are a regular feature of Calgary’s skyline
  • Complex construction staging included closing the Bow Trail highway overnight to allow a crane to lift the arch bridge off of its temporary supports to fit it into its final position, all before the morning rush hour the next day.


  • detailed design
  • engineering services during construction
  • ACEC Manitoba Awards of Excellence in Consulting Engineering, Award of Merit, Infrastructure / Transportation, 2015

  • Location: Calgary, Alberta