A bridge that knows how to break the ice
When crushing ice floes destroyed a bridge that linked the two sides of Riverton, Manitoba, engineers from Stantec found a way to unite the community and prevent it from happening again.
Four bridges have spanned this site since 1892, all washed away by floods. The team discovered that the previous bridges had all been constructed low to the water, making them susceptible to high waters and ice damage. They also all had four piers as main stabilizing structures under the river. Narrow gaps between the piers created a jam effect with icebergs, making destruction inevitable.
The new design was built higher and with a single pier taking the place of four, allowing ice to flow freely underneath without touching the structure. It was built stronger: to have a resistance to ice sheets over one metre thick. And the lone pier was reconfigured with a steel ice breaker to divert and break ice. The river channel was also widened to allow for more water to flow through in peak times.
For over 120 years the residents of the Village of Riverton have watched the connection between their community destroyed by flood waters. This new structure, the village’s fifth bridge, restores a vital pedestrian link within the village and is a strong foundation for a community’s growth and prosperity.
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