Moving the new Vedder Bridge structure into place took several hours in April 2017. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

Moving the new Vedder Bridge structure into place took several hours in April 2017. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

More hardware handed out for the innovative Vedder Bridge in Chilliwack

The launch method used to move the bridge was a world first say those who orchestrated it

The launch of the new Vedder bridge over the Vedder River used such an innovative approach that some say it was a world first.

Two years later the local company that orchestrated it is being recognized nationally.

Emil Anderson Construction won the coveted Excellence in Innovation Award from the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), in part for the unique way the new bridge structure was slowly transported over the river into place, after it was built on land.

That approach using a “king post and cable system” reduced the labour costs and avoided the environmental impacts of in-stream work, and is a “world first” as far as anybody knows for a steel arch bridge.

The same method was used to remove the old bridge for demolition.The old one had to be replaced because it didn’t meet current flood or seismic standards.

CCA reps officially presented Emil Anderson Construction (EAC) with the 2018 CCA Excellence in Innovation Award on March 27 for its “willingness to explore and implement innovative ideas and practices.”

READ MORE: Deck moved into place

“A fundamental component of the EAC design-build team’s strategy for replacement of the Vedder Bridge located in Chilliwack and providing an important transportation link between adjacent communities as well as recreational areas was to construct the new bridge on land and launch the bridge into place over the river,” according to CCA officials in a release about the award.

Emil Anderson worked with consultants/partner Klohn Crippen Berger to incorporate the unique method of king-post cable stay support system for the move in April 2017, “a first to the best of the knowledge of any project participants – to provide the arch structure with the additional strength needed to be moved into place.”

READ MORE: Huge interest in bridge move

EAC officials said it reduced the total labour costs by “as much as 35 per cent” and working over the river at levels of more than 98 per cent.

“In addition, the need for the in-stream temporary supports was eliminated, thus significantly reducing the environmental impact,” according to EAC.

CCA held its annual awards last month in conjunction with its annual conference, held at the Fairmont Southampton hotel.

“These awards recognize the important contributions of individuals, companies and associations that promote and enhance the Canadian construction industry.”

See more details about the awards.

The 2018 Canadian Construction Association award recipients:

2018 CCA Person of the Year Award – Mary-Anne Bowcott, Westcom Plumbing, and Tom Rankin, Rankin Construction Ltd.

2018 CCA Excellence in Innovation Award – Emil Anderson Construction

2018 CCA Environmental Achievement Award – Maple Reinders

2018 CCA International Business Award – Aecon

2018 CCA National Safety Award – Gisborne Group

2018 CCA Partner Association Award – Vancouver Regional Construction Association

2018 CCA Community Leader Award – Tomlinson Group

2018 CCA Gold Seal Association Award – Winnipeg Construction Association


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Aerial view of the new Vedder Bridge. (Submitted)

Aerial view of the new Vedder Bridge. (Submitted)