The City of Edmonton is gearing up to break ground for the new Walterdale Bridge in the spring, but in the meantime, officials are closing some river valley trails while crews prepare for construction to begin.

Starting on Monday, January 7, two major river valley trails will be closed.

The affected trails include the lower portion of Queen Elizabeth Park, the gravel path in the lower section of Kinsmen Park and the area around the Rossdale Generating Station.

The closures are expected to remain in effect until late 2015 – detours are in place for that time.

The city said crews started clearing trees on both sides of the North Saskatchewan River on Thursday.

Construction will include bridge and roadway work, such as realigning Walterdale Hill Road and Queen Elizabeth Park Road, and nearby multi-use trail connections.

More information on the new Walterdale Bridge project can be found online.