Calgary’s Peace Bridge badly damaged by vandals

An iconic Calgary landmark has once again been damaged.

Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong says vandals shattered about 40 of the glass side panels on the Peace Bridge over the Bow River this weekend, 80 per cent of the total side panels.

“We have witnesses and surveillance that has told us exactly when and how, so we sent that over to Calgary police,” Wong told CTV News on Sunday.

Police say witnesses reported the vandalism as being done by a man in his 40s who used a hammer, rebar and bricks to smash the glass. He reportedly walked across the bridge starting on the southwest side and pushing a shopping cart with him. 

Responding officers saw the suspect dump the shopping card in the river and run off, but weren’t able to apprehend him.

“We need to restore the bridge back to the esthetic beauty that it is,” Wong said. 

The bridge, built a decade ago in 2012, is so frequently vandalised that city officials recently launched a new campaign aimed at reducing intentional damage to the structure.

According to city officials, an average of six panels are broken every year, and it costs roughly $80,000 a year to remove and replace the broken panels. This does not include the cost of the panels themselves, as the city has been using replacement panels provided when the bridge was first built.

Damage to the glass panelling on Calgary’s iconic Peace Bridge. Wong says the city is investigating the possibility of using alternate materials other than glass for the panels on the Peace Bridge.

“Three weeks ago (the) city started doing research with a consultant to take a look at different materials for the side panels themselves, and we hope to get that back to council very shortly.

“It’s a shame that people have taken to destroying a public amenity like this.”

Anyone who witnesses Peace Bridge vandalism in progress is asked to call 911.

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