Date: Tuesday, October 31st
Time: 12:00 PM (ADT) Atlantic Daylight Time
Duration: 1 Hour
The Nancy Pauw Bridge, set in the heart of Banff, spans 80m across the Bow River to connect Central Park to the Banff Recreation Grounds. It fulfills a 108-year dream of city planners who in 1914 envisioned a network of pedestrian bridges crossing the Bow. Now the second pedestrian bridge across the river, the Nancy Pauw Bridge connects two key elements social infrastructure in Banff, reducing vehicle emissions by fostering pedestrian cycling, walking, and running.
The bridge itself is a model of sustainable design and construction, implementing low-carbon materials and extensive offsite prefabrication. The design was driven by challenging constraints; a shallow, low-profile structure was required for user accessibility and to minimize intrusion into Central Park, yet it had to be a clear span to minimize environmental impact. The Town also desired a bridge that was graceful, unobtrusive, and natural, fitting in the beautiful surroundings and enabling unimpeded views while crossing.
Multiple structural approaches were evaluated, including steel and hybrid timber-steel structures. Overall form, environmental impact, cost, constructability, and the embodied carbon associated with each scheme were carefully considered. Ultimately, a pure, shallow arch emerged as the clear solution, with shaped Glulam timber girders creating the natural, slender arched form.
The Nancy Pauw Bridge crossing is now prized as a beautiful accent in this most picturesque setting and will be a popular (and lively) connector for both townsfolk and the many visitors for generations to come. The use of structural timber in an application where steel or concrete would more typically be contemplated, resulted in a stunning structure with comparatively low embodied carbon – delivering a successful infrastructure project that serves to reduce carbon emissions through every stage in its lifecycle.
Drew Willms, Senior Business Development Engineer
As a Senior Business Development and Preconstruction Engineer with StructureCraft, Drew is responsible for new project development, pre-construction project management and estimating. He leads StructureCraft’s footbridge sector and has managed the preconstruction effort on mass timber and pedestrian bridge projects across North America.