Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge Refurbishment

In October 2017, $3.9 million in funding was announced for the refurbishment of the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge. The funding will be used to replace the existing deck and railings.

While the bridge’s surface is safe for use, the work is meant to prevent further deterioration and ensure the bridge’s viability into the future. 

Over the coming months, a work plan will be developed to tackle the repairs. 

No closure of the bridge is imminent. Details about any closure will be released early in 2018, in plenty of time for bridge users to make alternate travel arrangements.


Credit: Larry Dickinson

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.

 

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.