Watch: Tomlinson tears down Harmer Avenue bridge as part of $13.5M rebuild

Video by Paul Sharp

One of the city’s largest heavy construction firms made relatively quick work of a decades-old pedestrian bridge this weekend, demolishing the aging structure above the Queensway and making way for its replacement.

The Tomlinson Group brought down the Harmer Avenue pedestrian bridge in a matter of hours on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper watched the demolition from Highway 417 and shared several videos from the scene on social media:

The city says the total budget of the project is $13.5 million.

The original pedestrian bridge opened in 1963 to connect the Wellington West and Civic Hospital neighbourhoods across the newly constructed highway. However, it had to be replaced 15 years later due to structural weakness, according to local historian Dave Allston.

The current span – which was used by some 500 people daily – was at the end of its life, according to the city, and the approach ramps fail to meet modern accessibility standards.

The new bridge was designed by engineering consulting firm Stantec and will resemble the pedestrian bridge built across Highway 417 at Castlefrank Road.

New Harmer Avenue Bridge
A rendering of the new Harmer Avenue pedestrian bridge

Work on new approach ramps and stairs, as well as other features, is expected to take two years before the new bridge opens in 2020.