The Pedestrian Bridge was completed in 2013. Before that, for 116 years, there was just one crossing over the Bow River, first for horse and buggies and then for vehicles. The bridge was designed to be in harmony with the surrounding views, and built to withstand a 100-year flood, which is the very first thing it did. On June 20, five days before the planned ribbon cutting, Banff, like much of southern Alberta, experienced the worst flooding in the province’s history. Heavy rains and highway washouts delayed the opening, but the pedestrian bridge itself easily passed the test. On July 2, 2013, just one week after the flood receded, the second crossing of the Bow River opened.With its 113-metre length, including the 80-metre central span, the pedestrian bridge is among the longest timber bridges in the world, and the glulam beams are among the largest installed in North America. The bridge design and engineering has won multiple international awards.In May 2017, morning commuters crossing the bridge were joined by 250kg (500lb) grizzly bear, known as Split Lip, who must have decided the bridge would work just fine as a wildlife overpass. Humans backed away, and he made it halfway across before Parks Canada wildlife officers shooed him off the bridge and out of town.
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