Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge Refurbishment

The Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge will close on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019. 

The City of Fredericton has announced plans to move forward with the deck replacement for the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge. The work will preserve the cherished city icon for generations to come.

The Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge will be closed for approximately four months for a deck replacement starting on September 18, 2019. During construction, the public will not be able to use the bridge and should make alternate arrangements.

Carleton Park and the Green will continue to be accessible.

The deck sits on the original railway bridge ties; both the deck and ties are deteriorating and need to be replaced. When the job is done, residents and visitors will enjoy the bridge for generations to come. The renewed structure will better withstand the wear and tear caused by more than 600,000 pedestrian crossings each year. 

Fredericton Transit will continue to offer service (including bike racks) to and from the downtown at the Union Street stop adjacent to the walking trail and Picaroon’s.



Timeline:

  • Summer 2017 – Bridge lookouts closed due to rot in support structures; does not affect main bridge deck. Pier work started.
  • October 2017 - $3.9 million in funding announced for bridge refurbishment under the multi-year New Building Canada Plan’s Small Communities Fund, with support from the federal and provincial governments, as well as the City of Fredericton.
  • November 2017 – January 2018 – City to hire consultant to begin design work.
  • Early 2018 – Preliminary design work and related timelines information to be announced.
  • May 2019 - Work on project announced.
  • September 2019 - Work on project begins.
  • Early 2020 - Work on project to conclude. 

News Releases:

 

About the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge:

  • The former Fredericton Railway Bridge was constructed in 1938. It replaced the original train bridge on the site which became operational in 1889, and was heavily damaged by ice and flood waters in March 1935.
  • The final freight train crossed the bridge in March 1996. Since 1997, it has been used as a pedestrian bridge
  • In June 2008, the bridge renamed in honour of long-time trail advocate, Bill Thorpe, a former City of Fredericton Deputy Mayor and City Councillor, who was an active Fredericton Trails Coalition member and founded the Fredericton Tail System.
  • The bridge spans 581 metres (1,906 feet). It is a through-truss design built of steel. It sits on eight concrete piers and two concrete abutments … one on each shore. 
  • It is an iconic piece of infrastructure, in the heart of the Downtown Fredericton, offering some of the best views of the city.
  • It serves as an active transportation link over the Saint John River, connecting the north and south sides of the city of Fredericton, and serving residents and visitors alike.
  • For 2016, 600,000 crossings were recorded on the bridge.

Sources include: Fredericton Railway Bridge (Wikipedia) and City of Fredericton Trail Bridge User Count.