Construction starts next week on Little Red park bridges

The Lions Gate Bridge, which crosses Little Red River near the Cosmo Lodge, is just one of six bridges up for replacement. Council is also considering plans to rebuild two more that have already been demolished. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Ski and bike trails in Little Red River Park will be unavailable for a while as workers replace three predestrian bridges, starting Oct. 18.

As of Oct. 22, the Sports Council bridge will no longer be accessible but users will have access to the existing Lion’s Gate Bridge while construction is done.

Work will primarily be done in the winter to limit erosion, the City says.

“All three bridges will be replaced with prefabricated steel structures meeting current building codes and accessibility standards.  Due to the replacement of the three bridges occurring over the Spruce River, the work is occurring during frozen ground conditions to limit erosion.” says Nykol Miller, Capital Projects Manager, City of Prince Albert.

The work starting in the next two weeks will require the cross country ski trails and the bike trails to be re-routed to the Lions Gate Bridge, although that too will have occasional closures during the build time.

“The bridge replacement at Little Red River Park is an exciting development allowing for safe and accessible trails. There will be some disruptions during the construction period this fall/winter and we ask users and visitors to be patient as we work through the process to deliver beautiful and lasting bridges for Little Red,” says Tim Yeaman, Parks Manager for the City of Prince Albert.

The Sliding Hill Bridge, demolished in 2013 after the river flooded, will be redone.

Work is required on the other two bridges as there was also damage during the 2013 flood and subsequent erosion on the north piers, cracking on the embankment and frost heaving on the Lions bridge.

Construction on the Sports Council bridge was rough and it sways from side to side, the City said. Embankments at both ends are eroding and the north retaining wall is decaying.

Construction is set to start on October 18 with access to the Sports Council Bridge terminated starting October 22 and continuing until the work is completed in late spring 2022. These dates are subject to change and weather dependent.

The access road from Pine Grove Centre will be utilized for bridge construction equipment in November and December, as a result, the implementation of snow trails on this section may be postponed.