New Jaipur Bridge opens to public ahead of a busy summer in Calgary
Jaipur Bridge, a major pathway connection from Eau Claire to Prince’s Island Park, will open to the public on June 6. The original bridge closed in late 2019 when it was determined that the previous bridge was at the end of its lifespan.
“The new Jaipur Bridge will re-establish a direct connection between Prince’s Island Park and the community of Eau Claire once again. The involvement of the residents and businesses throughout this project was invaluable – the new bridge adds character and new life to this area. It will continue to be an important gathering place for Calgarians to enjoy for decades to come,” says Ward 7 Councillor Terry Wong.
The new Jaipur Bridge was designed to fit with the new Eau Claire public realm plan, which includes increased flood resilience and a wider bridge deck that allows a more comfortable space for users.
“The team has been mindful to consider how to minimize the impact on the environment through the design and during construction,” says Devon Moore, Jaipur Bridge Project Manager. “The design showcases the natural surroundings by introducing more natural habitats for plants and animals to ensure the bridge is integrated with the environment. A fun example of this is a bee habitat that was included at the north end of the bridge to support the pollination and naturalization of the park space.”
Additionally, The bridge was designed with the origin of its name, Jaipur, in mind. The design team worked with the Jaipur-Calgary Foundation to ensure we were respectful of it.
“The City of Calgary and the Pink City of Jaipur in India are sister cities. We were honoured in 1994 to have Maharaj (Prince) Jai Singh come to Calgary, especially for the naming of the bridge Jaipur. I am certain that the bridge will carry on the respect honoured that day and serve well the needs of those who travel across the bridge – it holds the very important role of proving a connection in the heart of downtown Calgary," says Omkar Nath Channan, President of the Calgary-Jaipur Development Foundation.
Construction started in July 2021 and was done in coordination with the Eau Claire Area Improvements program. To help reduce repeated disruptions and impacts on citizens, find efficiencies, and align construction timelines, the projects work together and coordinate all the individual projects happening in the area. The projects in the area combine flood protection, lifecycle improvements, enhanced safety measures and the goal of building and maintaining downtown vibrancy.
“The opening of Jaipur Bridge is a major milestone for the Eau Claire Area Improvements program as we're investing in Eau Claire and the adjacent communities to enhance areas where Calgarians can proudly participate in a desirable, active and lively cultural destination,” says Dennis Hoffart, Eau Claire Area Improvements Program Lead. “We're working towards building more resilient and vibrant communities that support future growth and development for the people who live, work, visit and travel the area.”
Connections within the Eau Claire Plaza and Eau Claire Promenade were established ahead of schedule to align with the opening of Jaipur Bridge and ensure Calgarians can maintain access to Prince’s Island when the Downtown Flood Barrier construction team closes the bridge at 2 Street S.W. to complete work on the flood barrier.