Burrard Bridge Seismic Renovations & Rehabilitation & Widening

Location: Vancouver, BC

Graham was the Prime Contractor for multiple contracts of work on the Burrard Bridge spanning from 2013 to 2017. The Seismic renovations contract included bearing replacement and expansion joint replacement. The Rehabilitation work included extensive concrete replacement, new electrical and street lighting, new means prevention fencing and significant widening at the north end of the bridge. The goal of this contract was to improve safety and convenience for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles on the vital thoroughfare. Both projects involved extensive and elaborate traffic management plans that maintained traffic flow on the bridge throughout construction

The earlier project involved the seismic renovation which included the replacement of 27 bearings on the north and south abutments and 19 expansion joints across five vehicle lanes and three pedestrian sidewalks with extensive and elaborate traffic management plans that maintained flow on the bridge deck during construction. As General Contractor, Graham was responsible for furnishing all labour, materials, and equipment necessary for the construction, including temporary works engineering, traffic management, demolition and structural work. For the bearing replacement, Graham and its temporary works engineer developed innovative alternative methods of jacking which significantly reduced cost and schedule. Successful jacking of the first two bearing locations provided the city with sufficient confidence to remove their requirement to stop traffic during nighttime jacking operations. This greatly reduced nighttime traffic reduction and impacts. The rehabilitation work included concrete fence replacement, widening at the north end of the bridge to reduce conflicts and collisions at the Burrard and Pacific intersection, FRP strengthening of existing concrete members, stair and sidewalk milling and subsequent overlay. The work also included installation of custom precast barriers, concrete shear keys, bearing replacement, installation of steel fencing, and installation of new street lighting and extensive electrical upgrades. The original scope and design from the City required Graham to complete bridge deck repairs using an Overhead Shotcrete Patch method. Through value engineering and consultation with the client, the project team instead completed a full depth repair from the bridge deck surface. This innovation removed overhead work and shotcrete, resulting in significant safety benefits and significant cost savings. Graham worked diligently to complete the works safely, to a high quality and on schedule. The work site was constrained by the need to maintain bridge traffic, to maintain the heritage elements of the bridge, and to coordinate the extensive City works on Burrard Street. Graham’s team worked closely with City staff to limit the impacts of construction on pedestrians, cyclists, buses, traffic, residents and businesses. In 2015 Graham was the recipient of the VCRA Award of Excellence Silver for General Contractors for this project. The VRCA recognized Graham for this project due to the complexity of task and management of environmental and traffic management concerns on behalf of the City of Vancouver. At the 30th anniversary of the VRCA Awards, the 2018 VRCA Heritage Award was presented to Graham for the Burrard Bridge Rehabilitation. The Heritage Award is not regularly presented; it is reserved for exceptional projects that have restored or renovated signature iconic buildings or structures in the communities they serve. Opened in 1932, the Burrard Bridge rehabilitation preserved the original Art Deco design and re-introduced the historic pedestrian lighting that had been lost over the years. Traffic flow along the bridge and the intersections at either end were also redesigned to improve pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicle safety.


Contract Value


Prime Consultant

Associated Engineering (BC) Ltd.

Project Owner

City of Vancouver

Contract Format

Stipulated Price

Completion Date

September 2017

Contract Duration

46 months on and off