Pickering Pedestrian Bridge

Guinness World Record Holder - Longest Enclosed Pedestrian Bridge

City of Pickering’s 2019 Urban Design Award

Winner - City of Pickering’s 2019 Urban Design Award

Engineering News Record Global Best Projects 2019 Award of Merit (Bridge/Tunnel)

Winner – Engineering News Record Global Best Projects 2019 Award of Merit (Bridge/Tunnel)

What could be so amazing about something as simple as a pedestrian bridge? The answer is everything. When it comes to engineering innovation and overcoming extraordinary challenges, there’s something uniquely incredible about the award-winning Pickering Pedestrian Bridge.

Pickering is growing and the city’s transit system is growing along with it. Today, Pickering GO Station is the sixth busiest station in the network, with over 9,000 boardings per day. To accommodate the volume, we needed to add more parking and we had to build two parking structures. The challenge was that one location was across the highway from the station and required an easy connection point.

Making the connection meant building a pedestrian bridge across Highway 401, a huge benefit to the local community that now has another crossing option over the highway. The bridge has seen enormous use since it opened in 2012 but it’s more than a bridge. It’s a marvel in Pickering’s backyard.

Here’s the story of the Pickering Pedestrian Bridge you’ve never heard before.

The Pickering Bridge spans 14 lanes of traffic and six tracks

On the face of it, it sounds simple. Just build a bridge across a highway. Imagine though, building a bridge across 14 lanes of traffic on one of the busiest highways in North America, and across six tracks over a fast-paced rail corridor. It's an enormous logistical challenge.

Time lapse video of Pickering Bridge installation

Building the structure required strategically phasing project work through different seasons, ensuring roads weren’t closed during the winter, for example. It required transporting bridge trusses that were hundreds of thousands of pounds, using one of the largest mobile cranes in Canada. The work was worth it though. Pickering now enjoys a pedestrian bridge that can accommodate the thousands of residents who depend on their local GO station.

There’s a strong chance you don’t know what Kalzip is. A lightweight aluminum product, Kalzip is almost exclusively used in roofing. However, it proved to be the perfect material to skin our new bridge and wrap the walking platform in a layer to protect pedestrians from the elements. In fact, our bridge is the first time Kalzip has been used in this way.

So, what makes it perfect for a pedestrian bridge? It checks all the boxes. Kalzip is energy-saving and weather-resistant. It also allows visibility. Even as you are protected from the elements, you can still see in and outside of the bridge, meaning the interior of the structure is never dark and pedestrians are always visible. This increases safety and a sense of security for those who use it daily, day or night. It also magnifies the lighting on the bridge, which means fewer lights are required, which is great benefit for reducing costs associated with its maintenance over the long-term.

The material gives the bridge an organic look that beautifies the area around it, practical and gorgeous, all at the same time.
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