Fort York pedestrian crossing Dufferin Construction wins $19.7 million contract to build North America’s first stainless steel bridge

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STAFF WRITER
The GTA Construction Report

Dufferin Construction will lead the design and construction team to build the $19.7 million Fort York pedestrian bridge – finally setting in motion a project that has been on the city’s drawing boards since the middle part of the last decade.

The structure will be North America’s first 100 per cent stainless steel bridge.

Construction will commence this spring and be completed in a year. Other partners in the design-build team include bridge engineering firm Pedelta and Toronto landscape architects DTAH.

When completed, the bridge will allow cyclists and pedestrians to reach the downtown historic site’s northwest corner at Bathurst and Front Streets, from two new parks under construction in the Niagara neighborhood and Liberty Village.

Build Toronto retained MMM Group Limited as the owner’s representative through a competitive procurement process, to administer the project, a scaled down version of the bridge originally expected to cost $6 million more and be completed by 2012, in time for the War of 1812 Bicentennial. The original design by architects Montgomery Sissam and AECOM had characteristics of an architectural landmark, but the administration of former mayor Rob Ford thought the bridge to be an unnecessary frill and wanted to kill the project. However, a compromise was reached and the project was bounced back to city staff for a redesign and a much lower construction budget.

“The winning design, a two-part bridge that will be the first 100 per cent stainless steel bridge to be built in North America and the first stainless steel bridge in Canada, extends north-south across two railway corridors in the downtown just east of Strachan Ave.,” Build Toronto says on its website. “One bridge will span from the future South Stanley Park Extension on Wellington St. over the north Georgetown railway corridor and land on the north side of the future Ordnance Triangle Park. The second bridge will begin on the south side of the Ordnance Triangle Park and span over the south Lakeshore railway corridor, landing in the Fort York grounds.”

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