Burrard Bridge


​Burrard Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

​COWI Bridge has been involved with the Burrard Bridge - Vancouver's art deco style, steel truss structure - since 1989.

​The Burrard Bridge, originally built in 1932, is comprised of a steel truss main span, with concrete girder approach spans. The bridge has 25 girder spans totaling 597 m and five truss spans totaling 279 m, and a main span of 90 m.

COWI Bridge has been intimately involved with the Burrard Bridge since 1989. During the early phases of the Burrard Bridge seismic studies, COWI Bridge worked closely with the City of Vancouver to pioneer the phased approach to the necessary upgrades for the Burrard Bridge to accommodate annual budget constraints and rationally prioritize the upgrades to maximize seismic safety while respecting budget constraints.



Seismic assessment using spectral analysis and recommended a phased upgrading.



Retrofit work on this bridge began in the City's Phase II and was completed early in 1994. COWI Bridge prepared final retrofit plans and supervised construction for the steel truss spans.



The next phase of retrofit plans addressed the seismic deficiencies of the concrete approach spans and support bents.  Design and construction of this retrofit phase was staged over several years.



COWI Bridge conducted a preliminary assessment report for steel expansion bearing rehabilitation. The project included investigation of alternatives to rehabilitate the bearings. Later that year, COWI Bridge reviewed and assessed the damage sustained to the bridge’s Hemlock Ramp, as a result vehicle impact.

The same year, COWI Bridge reviewed the posted load limit with regard to the concrete approach spans in accordance with CAN/CSA S6-06. COWI Bridge identified shear capacity deficiencies in most of the girders on the concrete approach spans under the heavier tour bus loadings and some of the buses currently transiting the Bridge. Following the completion of the load limit review, COWI Bridge assessed the approach spans for additional design vehicle loadings to assess the capacities of the approach span substructure components and to develop preliminary designs and cost estimates.



COWI Bridge conducted a detailed inspection of the concrete approach spans, developed detailed design documents for shear capacity upgrades to the deficient approach span girders and pier crossbeams, and then provided engineering services during construction for the fabrication and installation of the upgrades. 



COWI Bridge performed the inspection and condition assessment, concept design and analysis and final design for the replacement of PCB contaminated bearings on the Burrard Bridge. Goals of the project included developing a design and approach which does not interrupt bridge traffic and maintains safety for all bridge users, as well as mitigating the environmental risks associated with the PCB’s.

LAST UPDATED: 21.06.2017