Designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of the world’s great architects, Calgary’s Peace Bridge is a major tourist attraction and popular landmark. More than a million pedestrians and cyclists have crossed the Bow River using the glass-encased bridge in the past year.
This summer, the bridge suffered almost $1-million in damage after vandals smashed 70 of the structure’s 100 glass panels with a hammer and bricks in two separate incidents. One person has been charged.
In an effort to combat such behaviour, the City of Calgary has turned the Peace Bridge into an art walk called the Vandalism Gallery. It’s a campaign to teach people about the damage that was done to the bridge and to encourage residents to report acts of vandalism, said Charmaine Buhler, the city’s bridge maintenance manager.
Guards and security cameras now watch over the structure. Steel fence barriers have been set up while the city reviews potential repair options. Ms. Buhler said the city is also exploring the use of different types of material that are less susceptible to vandalism.
For now, the bridge and the Vandalism Gallery remain open to the public.