The end is in sight for St. Albertans commuting to and from Edmonton who have been delayed by the closure of Groat Road.
Contract crews are making progress stabilizing the four buckled girders on the 102 Avenue bridge and are preparing to install a seventh girder, the City of Edmonton announced Friday.
The installation of the seventh girder is expected to stabilize the overall structure, which will allow the cranes currently supporting the bridge to be removed, and in turn allow Groat Road to reopen. The city expects the road can be opened on or before April 7.
Four bridge girders, the structural steel support beams that bear the weight of the structure, buckled during installation on March 16. At that point a three-week schedule was laid out to either fix or remove the beams and reopen the road to major commuter route to traffic.
“A lot of work is happening on site and behind the scenes and we are on track to meet our strategy’s second-week goals,” said Barry Belcourt, the city’s manager of road design and construction. “We understand the need to open Groat Road to traffic as soon as possible, but we need to be absolutely certain that the structure is completely stable first.”
The road’s closure has had an impact on St. Albert residents, delaying commuters and forcing detours for St. Albert buses on routes 203 and 204 to the University of Alberta, which have 1,750 riders each day.
St. Albert Transit director Bob McDonald has said additional buses and drivers were added to those routes to maintain the departure schedule, at an estimated cost to the city of $1,000 per day.