About the Project
The Mechanized River Valley Access project will help make the river valley more accessible to people of all ages and abilities. The project will connect 100 Street near the Hotel MacDonald to the river valley trail system near the Low Level Bridge. Construction began in March 2016 and was completed in December 2017.
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1. The Promontory (top platform)
The promontory will allow users to take advantage of the amazing views from the top of bank near the Hotel Macdonald. It includes a sheltered canopy for loading onto the funicular as well as seating areas to take in the river valley below.
2. The Urban Staircase
Between 4.5 m and 7.5 m wide, the urban staircase will accommodate a variety of users, from those running the stairs to those who want to sit and enjoy the view. It will include a bike rail along its length. The staircase will be built from concrete and Kebony® wood, which was selected for its durability and sustainability.
3. The Funicular
The glass-enclosed, cable-propelled funicular will be 3m x 2.2 m and will fit up to 20 people. The funicular will accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, and bikes, carrying them up and down the incline from the top of the bank to the promenade below. It will not require an operator and will function like an elevator, operating during park hours.
Funiculars are economical, safe, and typically have long service lives. They can also fit into the limited space available at the top of the bank.
4. The Promenade
The steps and the funicular will land on a promenade designed to accommodate both through-traffic and those who want to sit and take in the views.
5. Seating Area
The promenade includes a grassy seating area with benches. The benches will feature an integrated public art piece, Turbulent, which will add a simple sculptural layer while offering a place for people to sit, pause, lounge or converse. Turbulent is inspired by the unique water patterns of the North Saskatchewan River.
6. Pedestrian Bridge
The pedestrian bridge will provide safe passage across Grierson Hill Road. It will connect the promenade to the lookout, and carry users approximately 6 m above the roadway.
7. The Lookout
The bridge gently slopes down to overlook the edge of the river. A glass railing and built-in seating will allow a seamless way to take in the river to the south and the downtown skyline to the north.
8. The Elevator & Staircase
The elevator is an essential component of creating accessible, barrier-free access to the river valley. From the bridge, an elevator and a staircase will connect users to the existing trail system. The elevator will hold up to 10 people and be open during regular park hours.
9. Connection to existing staircase
The bottom half of the wooden staircase linking Grierson Hill Road to the top of bank near the Hotel Macdonald will be connected to the project with a path to the new promenade.
The total walk from the top of the urban stair to the bottom landing by the trails is approximately 260 m (850 feet).