Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge

Active project
Bow Bend Way

The Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge officially opened October 15, 2020. The new bridge and the arterial road connections includes on-street bike lanes and a separated, parallel 3 metre-wide multi-use pathway. 

The extension of James Walker Trail from Riviera Way through to Highway 22 will be constructed later, depending on the timing of the South Bow development.

About Jack Tennant

Council voted April 8, 2019 to approve Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge as the name of Cochrane’s new bridge.

Jack Tennant was one of Cochrane’s most involved residents who dedicated his life to building bridges between people and communities. He was the founder and publisher of the Cochrane Eagle, a photojournalist, columnist, involved AA community member, committed philanthropist and honourary member of the Stoney Nakoda nation. Tennant died in 2018.

Construction info

Bridge details: 

  • three spans, about 160m in total length
  • the deck is about 14m above the normal water level in the river at its highest point
  • the deck is inclined up from the arena side toward the east at 3%
  • two 3.5m-wide traffic lanes with a 1.5m-wide bike lane on each side
  • 3m-wide regional pathway on the south side of the bridge separated from the traffic by a solid concrete barrier

Major construction materials:

  • total mass of the steel plate girders =  about 500,000 kg
  • total mass of rebar = about 250,000 kg
  • total volume of concrete = about 1,750 cubic meters



The Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge opened on schedule Oct 15, 2020. This second crossing over the Bow River is a critical priority for the Town of Cochrane and Town Council and is part of a bigger project to connect the north and south sides of Cochrane.

  • Phase one: reconstruction of Griffin Rd from Griffin Industrial Pt to Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC). Completed in 2018.
  • Phase two: connection from SLSFSC to the new bridge to River Heights Dr, including roundabout connections to future developments. On time to be completed fall 2020.
  • Phase three: extension of James Walker Trail from River Heights Dr to Southbow, in conjunction with the Southbow Landing development. To be scheduled
Map with area where bridge will be constructed circled in red.

This map shows the general location of the new bridge and alignment of the proposed James Walker Trail corridor (alignment will be finalized as part of the ongoing detailed design).

The bridge is being designed as a three-span bridge with a single pier in the river, and the second pier adjacent to the river. The outer spans will be about 51m (165 ft) each with the central span being about 58m (190 ft). The piers have been designed with two columns to improve visibility for users beneath the bridge and the overall bridge aesthetics.

Video rendering 

Aerial view of Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge. The bridge connects two hills and crosses over a river.

Conceptual rendering of the bridge at its actual location and design elevation.

Conceptual bridge image from two points of view: over top aerial and side view.

Conceptual illustration of the bridge design. In addition to two traffic lanes, the bridge includes bike lanes and a separated, 3 metre-wide multi-use pathway. A large lookout area above the eastern pier can be used to by cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the view of the river. 

Aerial view of with bridge location superimposed on it.

The south side of the Bow River is experiencing significant changes: stripping and grading for Precedence (new community), the start of bridge construction, the relocation of gravel pit operations and preparation for the new gravel extraction area.

Group photo of people at a ground breaking ceremonty. There are people wearing white construction hats and holding ceremonial shovels.
Groundbreaking July 9, 2018
(l-r) Coun. McFadden, Bearspaw elder Irene Baptiste of Stoney Nakoda First Nation, Coun Nagel, Banff-Cochrane MLA Westhead, Coun Reed, Mayor Genung, Coun Wilson, Tsuut’ina spiritual spiritual leader Hal Eagletail, Coun Fedeyko, Coun Flowers.
Heavy construction machinery starting construction on bridge.
Aug 24, 2018
Start of construction of the in-river berm that will be used as a construction platform for the east pier of the bridge.
Heavy construction machinery land-filling with rocks and gravel for bridge construction.
Sep 5, 2018
Construction of the temporary berm is complete (approx. 9500 m3 of cobbles). The berm will be used as a construction platform for the bridge piers and will be completely removed in summer of 2019 so the gravel beach can be reestablished.
Cranes and heavy construction machinery working at bridge site.
Oct 1, 2018
Construction start of in-river pier foundations. Each one consists of eight drilled-shaft, cast-in-place concrete about 1.2m (4ft) in diameter and up to 13m (43ft) long.
Group of construction workers standing by a cement mixing truck.
Oct 3, 2018
The first concrete for Cochrane's new bridge was poured on October 3, 2018 at 2:30pm.
Aerial view of Griffin Road realignment project.
Oct 11, 2018
This photo shows how the new Griffin Road realignment project connects to the bridge and new James Walker Trail across the river.
Aerial view oof 3-D bridge construction site.
Oct 26, 2018 3D render
Image generated with drone-based orthographic photogrammetry. PCL Construction uses a Matrice 210 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from DJI and SiteScan cloud platform from 3D Robotics, Inc. (3DR) to process the imagery into the 3D model.
Aerial view of bridge foundation.
Nov 18, 2018
Orange tarps (bottom right): completed west abutment foundations. Yellow drill rig: foundations for the west pier. White drill rig: sheet pile cofferdam at the east pier pile cap. Snow-covered platform (top left): east abutment.
Aerial view of east abutment foundation.
Nov 20, 2018
Drilling for the east abutment foundations on the far side of the river: the last 7 of 30 drilled shafts. The form work for the west abutment also began Monday, allowing for some above-ground construction this week.
View of west abutment formwork and rebar.
Nov 30, 2018
The west abutment formwork and rebar are ready for the first above-ground concrete pour (about 80 cubic meters of concrete in each). The alternating circular spots under the rebar are the drilled shaft foundations extending into the abutment.
Installed bridge railings.
Railings are up!
The bridge railings have been installed. What a great design!
Aerial view of bridge under construction.
Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge construction - June 2020
Aerial of bridge construction. Bridge is on schedule for opening fall 2020.
Side view of bridge under construction.
Bridge Update - April 30, 2020
Construction of on the Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge is set to resume in the beginning of May. The construction will include completion of the approach slabs and paving of the deck. The railings will also be installed starting at that time.
Council dressed in high-vis vests and white hardhats, standing by bridge construction.
September 16, 2019
Members of Cochrane Town Council pose on the Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge
Council and construction workers dressed in high-vis vests standing in front of the bridge construction site for a group photo.
September 16, 2019
Mayor, Council and Town of Cochrane Senior Leadership Team pose on south side of the Bow River bank after crossing the bridge.
Side view of bridge under construction. Most of the bridge is constructed.
Sept 12, 2019
In-water berm being removed - Sept. 12, 2019
Wet, top side of bridge. There is a construction worker walking on the bridge.
On deck! First concrete pour complete.
Side view of bridge under construction. Most of the bridge is constructed.
First concrete pour complete.
Construction workers inside bridge foundation dig site. There are rebar structure surrounding them.
Dec 6, 2018 (1)
Inside the west pier secant pile coffer dam, about 1.5m below the river’s normal water level. In preparation for west pier pile cap, workers are cleaning the excess concrete off the rebar for the 1200mm drilled shaft foundations.
Snow-covered bridge under construction.
Dec 6, 2018 (2)
The sheet pile wall for the east pier cofferdam is complete. In the background: tarped-in west abutment and the west pier cofferdam.
Fully formed side of bridge abutment.
Dec 21, 2018 (1)
The form work for the west abutment seat, which was the first above-ground concrete pour, was stripped on Tuesday.
Rebar lattice-like structure inside of hole.
Dec 21, 2018 (2)
The rebar for the west pier pile cap is almost complete, with the concrete pour planned for before Christmas.
Rebar pillars inside of construction dig site.
Jan 8, 2019 (1)
The pile cap for the west piers was poured before Christmas and has cured sufficiently to erect the rebar cages for the main piers. The formwork will now be placed around the rebar in preparation for the concrete pour.
Side view of bridge abutment under construction. Exposed rebar can be seen at the site..
Jan 8, 2019 (2)
The west abutment wing walls are partially formed with the rebar almost complete. The formwork will be closed up this week for the planned pour next week.
Completed bridge abutments on both sides of where the bridge will be constructed on.
Mar 18, 2019 (1)
Parts of the bridge structure are now visible: abutments on both sides of the river, west pier and east pier pedestal. Work is underway above the water level; berm can be removed before the June high-water season as scheduled.
Council and construction personnel standing on the side of the bridge's construction site. The group of people are wearing high-vis vests.
Mar 18, 2019 (2)
Mayor, Council and members of senior administration got a look at progress on bridge construction from the south side of the river today.
Multiple images and text describing the construction progress of the bridge's east pier pile and pedestal.
Mar 26, 2019
The east pier pile cap and pedestal complete and excavation partially backfilled. The first east pier rebar cage was erected. East pier pedestal was the last of the below-water-level work and a major milestone before the spring highwater season.
Construction crane unloading material near bridge site.
Apr 16, 2019
The first four girder segments (out of 25 total) arrived Sunday afternoon; two were hoisted onto the west pier today. The girder segments range between 28m and 37.6m long and weigh between 16,500kg and 22,100kg.
Construction crane unloading materials near the water by the bridge site.
April 29, 2019
By the end of last week, we had received 12 of the 25 girder segments and hoisted 10 of them into place. We are scheduled to receive four more late this afternoon for hoisting into place later in the week.
Bare bridge girders placed on construction site.
Jul 24, 2019
Crews are making good progress on the bridge since the installation of the girders. The west abutment is almost done and formwork for the deck is largely complete with the reinforcing steel starting to be placed. Concrete for the deck to be poured in Aug.