Bike Calgary's picture

Bridge Closure - Crowchild Trail Pathway Bow River Crossing

Please be advised, beginning November 6th and extending until Spring, 2018, the City will be closing the pathway bridge beneath Crowchild Trail to accommodate work on Crowchild Trail as part of the short-term Crowchild Trail Corridor upgrades (


Due to the limited number of crossings, the closure will have significant impact on north-south bicycle travel. If you use this crossing, please consider alternate route options well in advance to access the remaining open crossings at Edworthy Park and at 14th Street W.

Above: Bicycle routes per Google maps.

The closure will not restrict east-west travel along the Bow River Pathway on either bank of the Bow River, though there may be some travel delays or minor detours to allow for equipment movement or due to active work areas.

To plan your alternative routes, particularly if snow clearing is a concern, you can check out the online Pathway and Bikeway map at

To help Bike Calgary work to resolve closure-related issues with the City, please feel free to add your comments here or contact us directly via

We encourage our members to contact the City via 3-1-1 with any issues related to this closure.

Upcoming: Crowchild Trail Upgrades Project Information Session
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association, South Social Hall
1320 - 5th Avenue N.W.

Note: If attending, there are bicycle lanes along 5th Avenue providing an east-west connection between 10th Street and 19th Street NW, passing by the Community Association, which is near the intersection of 14th Street NW. Google Streetview shows an “old-school” bicycle rack just on the CA grounds near 5th Avenue.

Additional resources:

Bike Calgary clarified the City’s Snow and Ice Control Policy as it relates to on-street bicycle routes. Details can be found at and a City-provided graphic at

Pathways are cleared by Parks. Details on pathway snow and ice control can be found at

Details on the Crowchild Trail Corridor upgrades can be found at, and



uphill-both-ways's picture

not quite yet ....

the bridge and the pathway on the s river bank are still open this morning.  Construction fencing looks like it is ready to be put in place


Pathway cleared of snow along route from downtown to top of paved path that was reconstructed over the summer (steep hill) on east side of Shag golf course at 24 ST SW. 

uphill-both-ways's picture

Bridge closed

Fence preventing bridge access was in place this evening on the s side. Asphalt pathway on the s side is still open...

bike is best's picture

Crowchild Pedestrian bridge closure

The Crowchild pedestrian bridge is closed to pedestrians and cyclists until the end of winter, so that the City can complete maintenance that primarily benefits cars. Yet, cars are minimally inconvenienced while pedestrians and cyclists are forced to travel several km's to alternative routes to cross the river. Does this make any sense?

pbarclay's picture

Is now the time for Critical

Is now the time for Critical Mass style rides? Between this and 14th St SW being a terrible alternate option?

winterrider's picture

I'd say no

We're slowly but surely getting some great cycling infrastructure put in, so I don't see how antagonizing everyone is a good idea.

As to the bridge, I imagine that there are physical safety concerns related to keeping that bridge open as the work on the deck above.

Is it possible to keep it open? Maybe.

Can I imagine that the cost might be high to do so? Sure.

Why not go to the City and ask why it's not being kept open, what the cost to do so would be, and whether that cost is justified for the somewhat limited use that bridge receives in the winter before suggesting paralyzing City streets by clogging them with bicycles.

I can guarantee you that many more people use the upper deck than the lower, so I don't think it's necessarily fair to say that if cars are accomodated bikes must also be. It's a cost vs benefit analysis.

All that said, I appreciated this will be a hardship for some, though I doubt that it will be many over the winter months. The traffic on that path is low in the winter, and most of that is going in/out of downtown from the west which can be accomplished by other bridges with no added miles.

I also see a lot of joggers using this as their turn around point, so now they'll have to run back on the same side of the river. Not exactly a hardship.

How many cycle commute from the Spruce Cliff Area to Parkdale/Univ/Foothills, I'm sure there are some and they're the ones affected. But if the cost is prohibitive then as a tax payer I don't know if I disagree with closing the bridge while they do this work.


gyrospanner's picture

Numbers of affected people?

I'm guessing here, but I think that there may not be that many people that are materially affected by this closure.  But I would like to know if I'm wrong, so please reply if you are.

If you have to travel north or south over the river and that was your most in-line place to cross the river, you now have a choice to use either the Harry Boothman bridge in Edworthy Park or the 14th Street bridge.  Your maximum inconvenience would be an additional 3 km if you looped over to the 14th Street bridge.  However, you would obviously use the route that angles off to your final destination.  As an example, I measured the riding distance between Westbrook Mall and the Hospital (via H. Boothman) and they are 5 km either way, therefore no inconvenience (unless you hate that big hill in Edworthy).  I also did Marda Loop to the Hospital (via 14th St) and it only added 1.5 km. 

That additional 1.5 km is about the same amount of extra riding that I have had to do over the last few years every time they close Bowmont Park for months at a time, and I barely noticed it.  Not to mention that it is good to change up your route sometimes.....


Any other thoughts?


pbarclay's picture

I'm riding close to the

I'm riding close to the maximum extra 3km unless I do my own mini-critical mass and ride 14th street (which I did last night but don't feel comfortable doing when I am riding with my child). Since my commute is normally 8km, this is a substantial increase.

I wouldn't mind so much if there was a bike friendly route from the pathway @ 14th to SW areas like Sunalta/Bankview/Marda Loop, but as it stands you need to negotiate narrow sidewalks along 14th under the tracks (the terminus of which are currently blocked by detour signs related to road construction), and deal with pretty poor options (particularly at rush hour) to cross 10th, 11th, 12th Aves, before finally crossing 17th Ave at the intersection of death across from Bike Bike. 

With the bridge open, it is possible to cut through Scarboro at 19th Street SW with only one sketchy bike-car interface @ 10th Ave. This can still be accomplished with the bridge closed, but only if you suck up the maximum 3km distance penalty. To the city's credit, their traffic calming at 12th Ave @ 19th Street SW has been a substantial improvement to this area and I am sad that I can no longer benefit from it without a 3km detour.

In summary: accessing the Bow River @ 14th Street for SW residents west of 14th Street is unnecessarily difficult / not conducive to non-confident cyclists, and the now reduced lack of connectivity to the NW is a further annoyance. This is reflected on e.g. Strava heat maps which indicate that there are no favourite bike routes between the Bow River @ 14th and many SW core neigbourhoods that don't involve either the maximum detour or riding directly on 14th.

Re. the lack of cyclists: if this is true, it may be due in part to the issues described above. There are several large employers in the NW, notably UofC and the hospital, and SW-to-NW traffic along Crowchild suggests that many people make this commute.

bike-run's picture


I live in W. Hillhurst and the bridge closure affects me. Almost every (recreational not commuting) time I run or bike on the pathway I've been using that bridge, and when running the time to detour is more significant, so I have to deal with less options, but I do still have pathway access to the east or west, and I don't need to cross over that bridge to commute downtown.


CPat's picture

14 St SW

I use the Crowchild Bridge from the NW to access the SW outside of downtown/Beltline pretty much exclusively. It's pretty much eliminated the Shaganappi Park Ped Bridge route southwards.  Edworthy could be an option, but I'm very rarely as far west as Sarcee (car dealership pickup/drop off excepted a couple times per year).  Remember the ice flows will close the Bow River MUP on the south bank as always in winter.

Looping over to 14 St SW (staying on the west sidewalk under the CPR, etc), then using 10 Ave or 11 Ave to the 15 St SW bike route and filtering over to 20 St SW via 23Ave or 26 Ave (towards Richmond Rd or MRU).  Northbound I'll stay on 20 St, take 20 Ave to 17a St, then ride the sidewalk on 17A ve to 15 St SW.  I'm usually in a hurry and haven't dialed in that area around the park, or I'd probably go north and south this way.

15 St SW does some whoop de do up/downs that are annoying further south and dead-ends at a park, so if headed towards the Glenmore Resevoir I'll filter over the opposite way to 14 St and take a lane once up the hill.  Northbound I'll just stay on 14 St since the hill's fine on the way down.  15 St SW doesn't really feel less steep than 14 St and is way icier, but has much less traffic, so there's a conditions trade-off and a time of day/has-some-jerk-scared-me trade-off.

Crivak's picture

Been using the peace bridge

Been using the peace bridge or the underpass beneath the c-train bridge. They work well and the latter isn't too far away from 14th.

pbarclay's picture

Who should I contact in the

Who should I contact in the city regarding this? Will my councillor be able to provide that information? Do you have a contact with roads?

winterrider's picture

Don't know

I'd start with 311, and maybe directly contact Councillors Woolley and Farrell as I think their wards are on either side of the bridge (I'm just guessing, I've not looked at a ward map).

You could also try getting some reporters interested. Maybe Tom Babin would be interested in this as a story.

pbarclay's picture

I've tried both of those

I've tried both of those official avenues in the past to no effect, but will try again. Have you ever had success in them responding to budget / cost analysis / usage issues?

winterrider's picture

Never tried

I assume it's almost impossible to get. The best information I've ever received has been in person at open houses, but I think at this point that ship has sailed.

My guess is you'd have the most luck if a reported was doing the questioning, so see if you can get Tom Babin interested (he's the only cycling reporter I know of).

uphill-both-ways's picture


radio personality David Gray(CBC) is also a year round cycle commuter as is Paul Karchuk(CBC outdoors guy).

RichieRich's picture

Crowchild MUP closure - options?

Realistically what are the options available for keeping the ped bridge option??

1 - Ice bridge?

2 - temp bridge?

3 - incredible scaffolding and protective structure over/around existing bridge?

4 - zip line?

5 - special guest Charon and his pet Cerberus rowing us across from the dark side back to the light of the great white north?

6 - ?? other suggestions??

Realistically that's all that's available... and much as it pains me to admit this, none are really feasible. 

pbarclay's picture

I suggest it be handled the

I suggest it be handled the same way that road closures are: closed as necessary. I haven't seen anyone working on it during my commutes this week, and it appears passable.

Second, the alternative route, 14th Street, is in need of some serious love. The entire road was repaved last year without addressing any of its cycling related deficiencies.

Third, as suprisingly impossible as this might be for a city so proud of its engineers, incorporating some type of cycling infrastructure on the upper level of Crowchild itself during this overhaul would revolutionize connectivity between the SW and NW.

xcrider's picture

14th Works

14th works for me as the path through to Edworthy isn't cleaned for the rest of winter. I think Carmageddon will be coming to Crowchild as this project is large and just beginning. Detours are a fact of construction and at least with a total closure you always know the status of it, rather than riding there only to find out it is closed

CPat's picture

It would be great if the city

It would be great if the city funded sidewalk widening/improvements under the CPR on 14 St.  I find 10 Ave (minus the westbound? closure last week) pretty good once south of the CPR to filter east or west.  11 St SW where there are bike lanes is too far east, and always takes longer (LRT, CPR trains, 5 extra stop lights).

pbarclay's picture

Farrell's advisor (Ward 7)

Farrell's advisor (Ward 7) responded to my query regarding just this and indicated that while Farrell and her team are aware of this issue, there are currently no plans to improve 14th.

Woolley (Ward 8) has been unresponsive to date. 

pbarclay's picture

When heading to the NW, are

When heading to the NW, are you accessing 14th from the west, east or south?

(Edit: meant to reply to the poster above)

xcrider's picture

Just Crossing

I never ride 14th St, I am just using the it to cross the river. I prefer bike routes and MUP's and would ride extra to be on them. Where are you coming and going to?


pbarclay's picture

My issue with 14th is getting

My issue with 14th is getting onto the bridge from Sunalta. Specifically, getting from 15th Street SW and 10th Ave onto the bridge without breaking the law and/or potentialy annoying some pedestrians is impossible. More generally, the roads leading to them are busy and not bike friendly during peak commuting hours. Once on the sidewalks along 14th, they are really narrow and not cleared of snow until you reach the sections maintained by Parks, e.g. the sections under the train tracks are really bad but the sections over the river are nice. Similar issues exist on the Kensington side north of the pathway.

In contrast, getting from Sunalta to the Crowchild bridge is much smoother (less ped/car conflict), though still imperfect.

Bike Calgary's picture

Crowchild Trail Pathway Update

Bike Calgary spoke to City staff involved in this project to get an update on the progression of work relative to the apparent limited activity on the crossing. It sounds like the contractor has been doing some site prep, but that work will be ramping up shortly with significant material being placed on the bridge deck precluding public passage.

We also discussed concerns with the distance to the detour and its impact on people travelling across the river, particularly from the south in and around Sunalta, so hopefully the City can address some of these, particularly along 14th Street SW with a suggestion they focus on signage and maintenance improvements (snow clearing), as well as ensuring bicycling permissible through this area. Hopefully they can address this.

There will be some signage changes to make it clearer to the public what is closed and what the alternative are, though signage changes are unlikely to be overly relevant to those using this forum and aware of the closure.

Please continue to add your comments if anything changes.

pbarclay's picture

Thank you! I think a core

Thank you! I think a core issue that could be readily addressed is connectivity/integration to 14th from both the S (where there is nothing) and N (some existing, but e.g. getting from 14th into the Kensington BRZ requires a combination of riding on sidewalks, curb hopping, riding against traffic or in an alleyway).

FYI - an assistant from Woolley's office emailed me to say they are aware of these issues.