May 18

48th Avenue Bridge Update

Posted on May 18, 2018 at 1:48 PM by Melissa Henderson

Another on-site meeting was held between representatives from the PSA, the City, and AMEC Foster Wheeler on May 17, 2018. PSA provided another update on the progress of the bridge construction.

PSA reiterated that they were happy with the system in place for traffic accommodation, and had no safety issues or concerns to report. After hearing this, and inspecting the site, the City is happy with how things are moving forward in a safe manner.

Similarly, the City is quite pleased with the manner in which environmental health and protection is being handled. In order to construct the back wall of the bridge, trenches had to be dug along the edge of the lake. To keep the work area dry, water from the lake had to be constantly pumped out of the trench. The water that is removed from the trenches is full on soil particles and debris, and would cause harm to the environment if allowed to be dumped directly back into the lake. Along with the yellow sediment curtains in place, PSA has also set up small on site ponds that will allow for the water to be filtered as it naturally feeds back into the environment.

On the east side of the soon-to-be bridge, the construction of the backwall is about 65% complete. Within the next two weeks, one of the three track hoes will be moved to the west side to continue making progress with that portion. Throughout this, PSA continues to remove asphalt and debris to make room for the new roadway.

PSA has a lot planned for the next two weeks. Starting next week, the box culverts for the pedestrian walkway will be delivered and begin to be installed. The plan is the start on the north side of the roadway and work to the south. As mentioned before, work with the track hoes will be continued on the west side. As well, initial planning has begun for the relocation of the signal lights.

Overall, the City is quite pleased with the progress being made. Current predictions of the project’s completion place it in early September. PSA is working hard to get the project back on schedule.

The City would again, like to thank citizens for their patience and cooperation during this project. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Department at 780-672-4428 or at

Pumping of Water
Water from the trench is pumped into a temporary holding pond within the construction area, where it is filtered to remove sediments before being released to Mirror Lake.

Trackhoe transferring backfill
Trackhoe in foreground transferring backfill material into the trench on the east side of the east pilings and backwall. Trackhoes in background working on removal of asphalt and concrete from former portion of 48 Avenue.

PSA compacting backfill
PSA compacting new backfill material behind the steel backwalls. The worker in the trench is standing roughly in the middle of the future roadway, but is still a few metres below the elevation of the new roadway. PSA equipment is standing by to place more backfill material into the trench. At the time that this photo was taken, two of the three sections of backwall had been placed in the trench. The top section will be installed just before the bridge girders are placed.

AMEC inspecting the steel backwalls
Inspectors from the City’s project engineer (AMEC Foster Wheeler) are inspecting a section of the recently installed steel backwalls. These corrugated steel sheets are installed on the outside of the abutment pilings, and will be used to prevent soil from under the future roadway from falling into Mirror Lake.

May 08

48th Avenue Bridge Replacement Update

Posted on May 8, 2018 at 11:58 AM by Melissa Henderson

May 8, 2018

On May 3, 2018 representatives from the City, PSA Construction, and AMEC Foster Wheeler met for an on-site meeting for the 48th Avenue Bridge Project. At this meeting, PSA updated the City on the work that has been completed on the bridge.

To date, all the pilings to support the new bridge structure have been installed on both the East and West side of the new bridge. PSA has also completed the installation of the pile cap on the east side of the new bridge. This pile cap sits on top of the abutment pilings, and will ultimately support the east side of the concrete bridge girders.

PSA also informed the City that the fabrication for the concrete bridge girders and the box culverts is now complete. The box culverts will be delivered to the site by mid- to late May, and the bridge girders will be delivered to the site in June. Subsequent to their delivery, the box culvert and girder installations will begin. Over the next few weeks, PSA will continue to work on the bridge abutments.

Over the past couple of weeks, the PSA crews have been hard at work removing loose organic material from the lake to allow for large rocks (called rip rap) to be installed to prevent erosion. However, due to the heavy spring runoff, progress on this stage of the project is going slower than expected. At this time, PSA anticipates that the project completion date may move into early September, rather than being finished at the end of August as originally planned. PSA is planning to make up for some of this lost time, including mobilizing additional equipment into the area to allow the work to progress faster.

This site meeting also included a discussion on the current traffic accommodation plan. Currently, the detour routes appear to be working quite well, and the City does not anticipate any major changes to the plan at this time.

The City would like to thank citizens for their patience and cooperation during this project. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Department at 780-672-4428 or at

2018-04-19 installation of pile cap
April 19 – PSA installs a section of the East pile cap on top of the pilings. The pile cap will support the concrete bridge girders and roadway. The West pile cap will be installed in late May or early June.

2018-05-02 PSA removing demolished bridge
May 2 – Demolished sections of the former 48th Avenue bridge are removed by PSA construction. These sections will be delivered to the City’s concrete recycling site where they will be crushed and reused on future projects.

2018-05-03 lego blocks
May 3 – PSA temporarily installing concrete “Lego blocks” within the channel of the new bridge. Once these were installed, the area between the Lego blocks and the East abutment was dewatered in preparation for the installation of the steel backwall pieces. The backwall will be installed on the outside of the abutment pilings and will prevent soil and the new roadway from falling into the lake.

2018-05-03 steel backwall
May 3 – Sections of the steel backwall, which will be installed shortly.

Apr 20

Bridge Piling Installation nearing Completion, Fabrication of Girders and Box Culverts Ongoing

Posted on April 20, 2018 at 1:18 PM by Kirsten Freeborn

Posted on April 20, 2018

 Over the past two weeks, quite a bit of work has been completed on the 48 Avenue Bridge Replacement project, both here in Camrose as well as off-site.

 Starting on April 9th, PSA’s pile driving sub-contractor has now completed installation of the steel pilings on the east side of the new bridge, and is well underway to completing installation of the pilings on the west side.  The locations for each of the 62 steel pilings that were used for this project were precisely surveyed before the start of installation, and were measured multiple times during the installation to ensure that they were driven vertically into the ground.  The pilings used for the east and west bridge abutments were driven approximately 21 metres into the ground so that they could be embedded about 1 metre into the underlying bedrock.  Because of the significant length of the pilings, the pilings were installed in two sections with the top section being welded onto the bottom section before the pile driving operation resumed.  The top of each steel piling was galvanized to prevent long-term corrosion of the steel.

 Once all of the pilings are installed, PSA will begin installation of the abutment cap, which will sit on top of the abutment pilings and upon which the concrete bridge girders will rest.  Over the next two weeks, PSA will begin work on fabricating / installing the back walls and wing walls, which will be installed on the outsides of the bridge pilings (i.e. on the side away from the water) to prevent the future road structure from spilling into the lake at the bridge opening.  PSA will also begin cleaning out the lake bed within the bridge opening (i.e. between the east and west bridge pilings) to remove loose organic material, and installing additional large rocks (rip rap) between the pilings to prevent water flowing under the bridge from damaging the bridge or the roadway.  Work on this component of the project will begin shortly, and will likely continue until early June.

 PSA and AMEC have also advised the City that fabrication of the concrete box culvert pieces is going well, and should be complete by the end of April.  Based on the current construction schedule, these pieces will be delivered to Camrose in mid-May, at which time PSA will begin installation of the pedestrian underpass.  This installation will take about a month to complete, and should be done by mid-June.

 Finally, PSA and AMEC have advised that fabrication of the concrete bridge girders is still on schedule for a tentative completion in early to mid-May.  As these are to be installed in June and early July, fabrication on these pieces will be complete in time for the installation to begin.

Here are a few photos of the recent pile driving operations, as well as the off-site fabrication of concrete box culverts (for the pedestrian underpass) and the bridge girders:

Blog Photo 1

April 9th – Flags indicating the locations where the pilings are to be installed on the east side of the new bridge

Blog Photo 2

April 10th – Installation of the bottom sections of the pilings on the east side of the bridge

Blog Photo 3

April 11th – Placement of the top sections onto the bottom sections of the pilings on the east side of the bridge.  These sections were welded together prior to resuming piling operations.  Note the top portion of the pilings are galvanized (grey in colour) to prevent the steel from corroding over time.

Blog Photo 4

April 18th – Installation of the pilings is complete on the east side of the new bridge.  The contractor has already installed the bottom piling sections on the west side of the new bridge, and is starting to lift the top sections into place for welding.

Blog Photo 5

April 10th – A few of the completed concrete box culvert pieces in a storage yard near Red Deer.  The full rectangular pieces will be installed under the new roadway, while the angled piece seen at the right of the photo will be installed near the entrances to the underpass.  Note that the weight of one of the completed box culvert pieces is over 26,000 kilograms (refer to the stamp near the bottom corner of the piece).

Blog Photo 6

April 9th – Three of the completed concrete bridge girders in a storage yard near Blackfalds.  The steel loops located on the tops of the girders are to allow these heavy girders to be lifted, and will be cut off by PSA once the girders have been placed on the abutment caps.
Blog Photo 7

April 11th – Fabrication of one of the concrete bridge girders in an indoor facility near Blackfalds.  This photo was taken shortly before concrete was poured into the mold.  Note the steel rebar throughout the girder that will help provide strength to the new bridge girders.  The cylindrical tubes running along the length of the girder help reduce the total weight of the girder.  These have been designed to reduce the overall cost of the girder, without sacrificing the strength of the girder or its future performance.