Kicking Horse Canyon - Launching the Park Bridge

Phase 2 of the Kicking Horse Canyon project installed girders for the Park Bridge without disturbing the highway traffic far below using a process known as launching.

The Park Bridge structure taking shape high above the existing highway.

Helicopter view of Park Bridge Launch Technique

Instant Bridge: Time-Lapse Construction of Park Bridge

Time-lapse video of the Park Bridge in the Kicking Horse Canyon, near Golden, BC.

The hydraulic system used to push the girder assembly.

Girder Assembly

The first set of girders being prepared for “launching” from the west abutment of the new bridge.


Beginning January 24, 2007, the first part of the girder assembly was pushed across the gap between the abutment and the first pier.


The removable nose section of the assembly is shaped like a sleigh runner to ensure the front end crosses above the pier before the girder itself is placed on it. The weight at the back of the assembly prevents the front from tipping into the gap.


Behind the abutment, the assembly awaits the attachment of the next girder segment.

Pier 1 - Side View

After a few hours, the front of the girder rests atop the first pier, and the nose section hangs over the end, ready for the next push to the second pier.

Pushing Girder

After another girder segment was attached to the tail end, the combined assembly was pushed to the second pier.


The push-and-add process was repeated until the entire 400-metre distance between the west and east abutments had been spanned.


The final push to span the last gap (right) occurred on May 19, 2007. The entire process for two sets of girders took about 115 days. Construction of the bridge deck followed.

Final Girder Launch