Vedder Bridge project in Chilliwack earns B.C. engineering award

Aesthetic appeal and innovation helped bridge design win award of merit

Vedder Bridge project renderings.

Vedder Bridge project renderings.

Chilliwack’s beautiful new Vedder Bridge has earned an award of merit from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of B.C.

Bruce Hamersley, manager of the transportation team for Klohn Crippen Berger, told The Progress their Vedder Bridge submission ended up being the only B.C. project in the running for the 2018 Awards for Engineering Excellence.

Many of the competitors’ infrastructure projects were massive, worth up to half a billion, in comparison to the relatively modest $12.5 million job “out in the back 40” to replace the Vedder Bridge, that ends up beating out a dozen or so entries in the Transportation & Bridges category.

“This is a very difficult award to win because you are up against all kinds of great companies doing incredible work all over the world,” Hamersley said.

The design concept for the Vedder Bridge Replacement project was devised by the Klohn Crippen Berger team, with stunning renderings created by Victoria architect Chris Foyd.

The design-build procurement approach that Chilliwack has become known for, in contrast to the design-bid-build model, is more conducive to innovation and competitive pricing generally, with points awarded for the aesthetic appeal of the steel arch design, enhanced lighting and multi-user pathways in this case.

“So we had the prettiest bridge at a price that was very competitive,” Hamersley said, noting these aspects likely contributed to the judges’ decision to favour the bridge project.

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Also innovative was way the bridge was launched across the river, with a “king post and counterweight” balancing as it was inched over the water.

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“It kept us from having to drive piles into the sensitive, salmon-bearing stream,” he said.

The 2018 Awards Gala for Engineering Excellence was held at the Westin Bayshore.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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