October 23, 2017

Burrard Bridge: "A Civic Triumph" – 1

“A civic triumph.”
That’s how Don Luxton, the heritage consultant for the Burrard Bridge project, characterizes the results.  And as both a heritage activist and professional consultant on over 30 years of projects, he has earned his perspective.

Don was brought in as part of the team with Associated Engineering, the lead consultants for the bridge project.  But he emphasizes that everyone, from city engineers to civic leaders and advisers, were determined to bring back a deteriorating piece of infrastructure to its former glory.
“From day one,” says Don, “we looked at it as a heritage conservation project.  Every intervention was assessed against heritage standards and guidelines for engineering works.”
Burrard Bridge wasn’t ‘value engineered’ to death.  When resources were needed, money was found – and people have noticed.  “Almost unanimously, Vancouverites tell me that it has turned out better than they expected, “says Don. “It feels more civilized, more European.  Pedestrians in particular no longer feel shoved to one side of a highway bridge.”
“From an engineering, traffic safety, functionality, heritage, aesthetic and civic perspective,  I’d give it an A plus.  It has achieved everything and more than we expected.”
This week, we’ll explore the heritage aspects of the Burrard Bridge with Don – and how the project has raised the bar for every subsequent intervention.

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  1. I’m baffled by the proclamation of the restoration of the heritage of the bridge when the city couldn’t even be bothered to repaint the bridge trusses and middle section towers. Not even a powerwash.

  2. In the Luxton report on the bridge heritage, I don’t think it’s clear as to the original colour of the bridge trusses or the towers.

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