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Groat Road to be closed for 3 days starting Thursday night

Groat Road will be closed for three days this month while crews install girders for the new Stony Plain Road Bridge.

The closure will start at 10 p.m. on Aug. 10, and the road is scheduled to reopen before 6 a.m. on Aug. 14.

The shared-use path on Groat Road will be closed starting Tuesday, Aug. 8, and will remain closed until Aug. 19.

"The closure is from 107 Avenue all the way down to Government House Park. For the shared-use pathway, and the same for the road," Brad Baumle, construction manager for Marigold Infrastructure Partners, told reporters on Tuesday.

The road will be closed during Folk Festival weekend, meaning festival goers will have to find another way to Gallagher Park.

"I've lived in Edmonton for 30 years. It's Festival City," Baumle said.

"So it wouldn’t have really mattered what weekend we were at, we would have hit K-Days, or Heritage Days, or Taste of Edmonton. It was going to be something."

The new bridge is being constructed as part of the new Valley Line West LRT line.

The old bridge was demolished last winter.

"This is our next major step for building the bridge," Baumle said. "So what will happen now is we've done the foundations on each side of the road and now we'll be erecting the actual steel girders, or the big I beams that will be there."

Baumle says Marigold has contingency plans to get the work done in a timely manner, regardless of the weather.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM OTHER PROJECTS

He says the company has also learned from other recent bridge construction projects in the city.

In 2015, four steel girders buckled during the construction of the 102 Avenue Bridge over Groat Road.

Engineers are investigating after some steel girders buckled during installation of the 102 Avenue Bridge over Groat Road early Monday March 16, 2015. Supplied.

Baumle says the girders for this new bridge will be smaller than the ones used on the 102 Avenue Bridge, and they'll be installed in pairs, instead of single girders.

"What we've done is we’ve already put them together in pairs at the fabrication yard, so we’re bringing them out in pairs so they’re much more stable and much easier to handle," he said.

The girders were manufactured by the same steel manufacturer that did the ones for the 102 Avenue Bridge.

"It is the same manufacturer, but as I say they’ve taken their lessons, and we've learned. I can assure you that that has been taken into account."

Once the girder installation is complete workers will install the bridge deck.

Baumle says he doesn't anticipate any full closures of Groat Road for that work.

"That can happen over top of traffic, we’ll keep the traffic safe, we’ll build decks underneath to make sure nothing falls on the traffic, and then our crews can work safely over top of that."

"There may be single-lane closures that may be required, just single lanes, probably mostly at night, but no full closure of Groat Road."

While Groat Road won't be majorly impacted by that work, Baumle said he understands the impact the construction is having on residents and businesses in the 134 Street area.

The Groat Road Bridge construction site on Aug. 1, 2023. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

"We feel for them. Construction’s not easy, and we are impacting people’s lives and businesses."

"We're working with especially the businesses at 134th, The Colombian and Vi’s for Pies to really kind of make sure they know what’s coming.

"We're keeping cross-streets open to make sure that their customers can get to them. We recognize the challenges there, and we try to work with them as much as possible and keep them informed on what we're planning."

Baumle says construction on the bridge is expected to be complete by fall 2024, adding that the project is currently on time and on budget.

But he says it's only one small part of the Valley Line West construction.

VALLEY LINE WEST UPDATE

"In the bigger picture you can see us headed toward downtown, we're doing a lot more work on 102 Avenue and working towards downtown now," he said. "You've already seen a lot of the work along the Stony Plain Road business section at 156 Street to 149. All down Meadowlark is busy, and the work along 87 Avenue in front of the Misericordia and West Edmonton Mall is busy as well."

He says bridge construction will also be happening over Anthony Henday Drive.

"We'll be building a bridge over top of Anthony Henday, and there will be some night time cross over work doing something very similar to this at Anthony Henday probably later this year in October.

"We're going to be erecting big concrete girders in that case over Anthony Henday."

Baumle says the work over the freeway will likely take place overnight.

"It should not impact the commute."

Marigold has also learned a lot of lessons from the problems during construction of the Valley Line Southeast LRT, Baumle says.

The project has faced numerous problems and delays, including the discovery of cracks in 30 of the piers along the line.

An opening date for that line has still not been announced.

"We understand the problems that were faced on the Southeast, so we've looked at that. Our piers are designed differently and built differently, so we're definitely taking those lessons to heart," Baumle said.

"We are an entirely different contractor with entirely different designers."

The Valley Line West LRT line is a 27-kilometre long section of line that will operate between downtown and Lewis Farms. 

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