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APEGGA Supports A Bridge
Kids, the Letters, the Bridge
Youngsters, the main target audience of the Edmonton Space and Science Centre, spell out the new bridge's name. APEGGA donated $50,000 to the project. Models used for this picture are Carolyn Jim's Grade 4 class from Lago Lindo Elementary School in Edmonton
BY NORDAHL FLAKSTAD
APEGGA and many of its members have a long history of building bridges -- metaphorical and material. But precious few of those bridges have been of the interior variety.
This time symbolism, steel and concrete combine to become the new APEGGA Bridge, linking the existing Edmonton Space and Science Centre with its new wing. The gently arched suspension bridge spans the entrance to the new facility and bears APEGGA's name in recognition of its $50,000 contribution.
Scott Murphy, P.Eng., of The Cohos Evamy Partnership, concedes it's a bit unusual to erect a bridge inside a building. However, the chief structural engineer on the project says it's perfectly in keeping with the science centre's role. It is not only an exhibit area -- but an exhibit, period.
Usually, trusses tied to the building's steel frame would support such
an interior walkway. Instead, the 16-metre-long beams extending above
the science centre's main entrance are tension elements attached by three
tension cables to the bridge's pier. The latter also doubles as a 7.75-metre
portion of the exterior wall and was built using cast-in-place, board-form
So structurally, there's a dual function. But APEGGA Bridge also represents educational multi-tasking. Strolling across the gently ached bridge, visitors will reach a high point of 4.35 metres above the reception area. These adults and the main target audience, students, will literally will be exposed to scientific principles and techniques used in building structures.
With the cable stay concept, designers were able to reduce by half the weight of the bridge's horizontal elements and make them more slender (310 millimetres) than if trusses were used.
"This bridge is unique," Mr. Murphy explains. "The concept keeps the depth as slender as possible."