CPR Pedestrian Bridge Rehabilitation

This project is to rehabilitate the iconic and historic CPR Pedestrian Bridge over the Red Deer River.
A photo of the CPR Pedestrian Bridge


The CPR Pedestrian Bridge was originally constructed in 1908 by Canadian Pacific Railway and was used for trains until 1990 when the rail line was relocated out of downtown. At that time the bridge was to be demolished but dedicated Red Deerians intervened to save the bridge and convert it to an active transportation structure. Recognizing the importance of the bridge to the history of Red Deer, City Council passed a bylaw in 1991 designating the bridge a Municipal Historic Resource.

With the CPR Pedestrian Bridge being well over 100 years old, many bridge components are showing their age. To ensure the bridge serves Red Deerians for the next 75+ years, the City is planning to complete a full rehabilitation to renew the structure to its original grandeur, meet modern day standards, and create an inviting space for all to enjoy. At a high level, the project scope includes:

  • Removal of old 55 Street underpass bridge along the south pathway approach
  • Reconstruction of timber trestle
  • Replacement of concrete foundations
  • Repair/replacement of corroded steel truss elements
  • Repainting of steel trusses
  • Replacement of timber deck with new durable surface
  • Pedestrian level lighting upgrades on and approaching the bridge
  • Public realm improvements


CPR Bridge - Stage diagram


The anticipated schedule for the project is outlined below. Design work began in November 2022. The project is scheduled to be fully complete by the end of 2025.

Outline of the phases of the CPR Bridge project


Week of February 20 – Underground Utility Investigation

Crews will be onsite beginning Tuesday February 21 to expose underground utilities using a hydro excavation truck. Nearby residents and businesses will hear an elevated level of noise during the work. To ensure public safety, open holes will be protected and backfilled shortly after.

What is hydro excavation? Soil is removed above the utility using a combination of pressurized water to loosen soil and a large vacuum to safely remove the loosened soil. This process ensures the utility is not physically touched and cannot be damaged.

Why is this happening? Exposing underground utilities will provide the design team with the exact location and depth of each utility, assisting in the design process and reducing project risks.

Week of January 9 – Geotechnical Drilling

Crews will be onsite drilling boreholes into the ground adjacent to the bridge on both the north and south side of the river to determine soil properties. The information collected will guide the design of the new concrete foundations. Nearby businesses and residents may hear some noise during the work. In addition, short-term closures of the bridge are required. During the closures, bridge users will be detoured to the Gaetz Avenue crossing.


The estimated budget for this project is $19.7 million. Federal Grant funding is in place for $11.1 million with the remaining $8.6 million in the approved City budget.