Highway 15 Underslung Pedestrian Bridge Officially Opens

Highway 15 Underslung Pedestrian Bridge Officially Opens to the Public – An Important Milestone in Connecting the Longest River Valley Pedestrian Trail in North America

Edmonton, AB – On July 31, 2023, at 9:30 a.m., during a remarkable morning of celebration, the River Valley Alliance (RVA), joined by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur, Sturgeon County Deputy Mayor Dan Derouin, and Eleanor McMahon, President and CEO of Trans Canada Trail and other funding partners from AB Transportation and AB Parks hosted the official ribbon cutting for the Highway 15 Underslung Pedestrian Bridge, connecting the longest river valley pedestrian trail in North America.

The underslung pedestrian bridge is the final stage of the Highway 15 Bridge Twinning Project. The pedestrian portion of the bridge and trail, named Amisk Wacîw Mêskanaw (Beaver Hill Road) in nêhiyawêwin (Cree), supports the RVA’s Plan of Action in connecting a continuous 100-kilometre river valley trail through six municipalities from Devon to Fort Saskatchewan.

All funding partners contributed a combined total of approximately $5.5 million to the underslung portion of the bridge, including trail connections to the new bridge deck. Now that the underslung portion of the bridge is officially open to the public, pedestrians and cyclists can access transportation routes along the West/Sturgeon County side of the river to trails on the East/Fort Saskatchewan side of the river.

“As we look to the future, it’s vitally important that we keep making investments in public transit infrastructure across Alberta. The new Highway 15 underslung pedestrian bridge will make it easier for community members to choose safe, clean, and affordable transportation options. Investments like these make our communities better places to live, work and play.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“The federal government continues to invest in modern, inclusive public infrastructure that builds healthy, connected, and vibrant communities across Alberta. Through our work with the River Valley Alliance, we’ve increased connectivity between Sturgeon County and Fort Saskatchewan. The new Highway 15 Underslung Pedestrian Bridge will give residents and visitors a safe and accessible pedestrian crossing to the River Valley Trail and surrounding areas.” The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“This new pedestrian bridge is an important connection toward the River Valley Alliance’s goal of creating the longest river valley pedestrian trail in North America. The trail, recently named Amisk Wacîw Mêskanaw (Beaver Hill Road) in nêhiyawêwin (the Cree language), acts as a unifier by connecting communities with each other and with nature while encouraging active transportation. It also creates opportunities for place-based information sharing that encourages us to reflect upon the region’s history and the importance of preserving our natural green spaces. Our partnerships with all levels of government are key to realizing this infrastructure that will become an iconic legacy for residents and visitors alike.” Kristine Archibald, Executive Director, River Valley Alliance

“This pedestrian bridge is a symbol of progress and unity for our region. By connecting our communities, we are creating opportunities to bring people and possibilities together. As one of the six partner municipalities of the River Valley Alliance, we are committed to the vision of connecting people to and through the North Saskatchewan River Valley. We also recognize and honour the importance these pathways have to the First Nations and Métis Peoples who first marked these trails and crossings. We look forward to walking these paths together and building stronger bridges of understanding, unity and connections.” Mayor Hnatiw, Sturgeon County

“The City of Fort Saskatchewan is pleased to see this connection to the Amisk Wacîw Mêskanaw trail completed so residents and visitors can explore the entirety of this wonderful river valley. We are proud to support this underslung bridge and look forward to its frequent use. We are happy to have provided a portion of the funding that made this project a reality.”  Mayor Katchur, Fort Sask.

“Connecting people and communities is at the heart of our work at Trans Canada Trail and is central to our network – the world’s longest – which includes the Amisk Wacîw Mêskanaw trail. We were thrilled to contribute to the new Highway 15 Underslung Pedestrian Bridge that creates opportunities for visitors to explore even more of this area’s beautiful natural landscapes, as well as new options for daily walking and cycling trips. We look forward to the continued collaboration that has shaped this project thus far, and to continue to advance the vision of the River Valley Alliance to create the longest river valley pedestrian trail in North America.” Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO, Trans Canada Trail.