Entuitive, Grimshaw and sbp’s award-winning network of bridges for Waterfront Toronto enable multimodal access between downtown and Villiers Island
TORONTO, Jan. 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – Today, the two newest additions to Toronto’s Port Lands Bridges open to the public, signifying a major step in the redevelopment of 500 acres of once underutilized land. Designed as modern, elegant, and eye-catching structures, the opening of the Cherry Street North and Commissioners Street Bridges for vehicle, pedestrian, and cyclist traffic ushers visitors into and around the future site of Villiers Island in style.
Waterfront Toronto’s Port Lands Flood Protection Enabling Infrastructure (PLFPEI) project called for innovative and aesthetically stunning bridges to be placed over current and future waterways in the area. The Port Lands Bridges, which are central to the $1.3B revitalization and regeneration effort, were designed by Entuitive, schlaich bergermann partner (sbp), and Grimshaw Architects.
“We’re pleased to celebrate the opening of Cherry Street North and Commissioners Street Bridges, and to reflect on our rewarding and fruitful collaboration with sbp and Grimshaw, as well as our construction partners at Ellis Don,” says Michael Meschino, Principal, Entuitive. “Waterfront Toronto is one step closer to completing one of the province’s most exciting projects, and the creation of crucial infrastructure, a place to live, work and play, will be a truly remarkable transformation.”
The joint design effort led by Entuitive was also bolstered with direction from Waterfront Toronto and Construction Manager EllisDon, who led the construction process from fabrication to erection.
“We are honored to be a part of the physical transformation of the Toronto waterfront into a vibrant, active, and connected community,” says Juan Porral, Partner, Grimshaw. “The Port Lands Bridges enable connectivity and ease of mobility, creating memorable gateways for pedestrians, cyclists, future streetcars, and vehicles onto and through the new Villiers Island.”
The bridges were designed as an aesthetically unified family of four and showcase innovative fabrication techniques alongside state-of-the-art engineering. The goal of the design was to create elegant and efficient structures that will function as both crossing points and compelling destinations for the public. The single-span Cherry Street North Road and LRT Bridges and the four-span Commissioners Street Bridge join the previously opened Cherry Street South Bridge. With three spans, the Cherry Street South Bridge crosses the new mouth of the Don River on the west side of Villiers Island and was opened in October 2022.
“The Port Lands Bridges are a prime example of how creative teams of architects, engineers, contractors, and owners can come together and design beautiful bridges,” says Michael Stein, Managing Director, sbp. “We are thrilled to contribute to the evolution of Villiers Island with bridges that serve the community both as functional infrastructure and as engaging landmarks that improve the quality of their built environment.”
Throughout the project, Entuitive, sbp, and Grimshaw worked to ensure the bridges reached the high aesthetic requirements to satisfy the public realm and create new legacy structures for the city of Toronto. The resulting family of Port Lands Bridges has been widely recognized with engineering and steel construction design awards in North America and Europe, including the Institution of Structural Engineers, the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, the Structural Engineers Association of NY, and the Association of Consulting Engineers Companies for Ontario.
“From concept to construction there have been many challenges, which brought lots of opportunity for innovation and collaboration,” says Jonathan Werner, Senior Associate, Entuitive. “Seeing the Port Lands Bridges open to the public for them to use and enjoy makes it all worthwhile.”
The PLFPEI project called for bridges that would reference the rich history of Toronto’s waterfront while also supporting a livable and walkable future for the new neighborhood. The design team arrived at a hybrid shell-arch bridge structure—essentially curved tied arches with a planar deck connected by hangers. This self-anchoring curved-tied arch maximizes the material efficiency and reduces cost. Additionally, tied arches only create vertical reaction forces which reduce the size and complexity of the foundations. This was a key design consideration since the soil in the industrial area is contaminated and of poor quality and supporting foundations and piers were also limited by the site’s flood protection plan.
Since arriving in Toronto in 2022, the Port Lands Bridges have won international engineering and design awards, and the signature bridges were made possible by the following partners:
Project Owner: Waterfront Toronto
Architect Firm: Grimshaw Architects
Preliminary Structural Design: schlaich bergermann partner (sbp)
Structural Engineer: Entuitive
General Contractor: EllisDon
Fabricator: Cherubini Bridges & Structures
Detailer: Tenca Steel Detailing Inc.
Erector: ES Fox Ltd.
Erection Engineer: Harbourside Engineering Consultants
Geotechnical Engineer: Thurber Engineering Ltd.
Civil Engineer: Planmac Engineering Inc.
Electrical & Lighting: Mulvaney & Banani Lighting Inc.
Entuitive is a North American structural engineering consultancy delivering industry leading solutions to support the built environment for an international client base. Founded in 2011 and operating from six offices in Canada and the US, Entuitive’s practice is performance focused and encompasses integrated structural engineering, building envelope, and sustainable building consulting and planning. With structural expertise in bridge design and rehabilitation, building renovation, special projects, fire and pedestrian modelling, restoration, construction engineering, and both new and existing transportation structures, Entuitive is recognized as an industry leader. Recent award-winning projects include the Platform Innovation Centre and Parkade in Calgary, the Port Lands Bridges in Toronto, and the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences in Lubbock, Texas. Listed as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Entuitive’s more than 290 employees are dedicated to fulfilling the business objectives of a broad range of clients, including architects, contractors, developers, and property owners. To learn more visit www.entuitive.com.
About schlaich bergermann partner
schlaich bergermann partner (sbp) is an international, award-winning structural engineering design firm founded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1980 with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Shanghai, Paris, São Paulo, and Madrid. They design celebrated bridges, long-span lightweight roofs, slender towers, and innovative buildings across the world. sbp pursues the philosophy of Baukultur, the culture of building and the building of culture, for all their bridge projects. This involves a thoughtful approach to finding efficient, elegant, and environmentally sensitive design solutions that respond uniquely to their site and context. sbp works with clients, collaborators, and the public to create bridges that provide both a connection to communities and a cherished symbol of regional transformation. Visit sbp at www.sbp.de/en.
About Grimshaw Architects
Grimshaw is an international architectural practice delivering buildings, infrastructure and places that are underpinned by the principles of humane, enduring, sustainable design. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland, Grimshaw employs over 600 staff. The practice’s international portfolio covers all major sectors and has been honored with over 200 international design awards. Learn more about Grimshaw at grimshaw.global.
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/torontos-port-lands-celebrates-the-opening-of-two-landmark-bridges-302044010.html
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