City eyes new structure to replace Arlington Street Bridge
Published Friday, June 24, 2016 10:27AM CST
Last Updated Friday, June 24, 2016 5:55PM CST
The Arlington Street Bridge has a date with the wrecking ball in 2020. Ask pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who use it regularly where a new crossing should rise.
"I'd like to see a new one but not far from here," said driver Jim Nowicki.
It appears that wish could come true. A report at city hall recommends the city continue preliminary design work on a new bridge, that will cross the CPR rail yards just west of the current location.
"People depend on this bridge everyday as you can notice with the traffic going by so building beside it would be a great idea," said cyclist Ken Constant.
The new bridge would have three lanes of traffic, two northbound, one southbound, as well as protected bike and walking paths on both sides. Transit buses, not permitted on the current structure, will be able to cross the new one.
"The fact that buses can finally go over the Arlington Bridge is like another rapid transit link," said city councillor Mike Pagtakhan.
The price tag for the project: $300 million, including the cost of land acquisitions.
The report also says continued growth over the next couple of decades could one day require the widening of the McPhillips Street underpass and another bridge over the rail yards at McGregor Street. Too expensive says city councillor Russ Wyatt, who wants to scrap the bridges and move the rail yards outside of Winnipeg instead.
"It could really be a rebirth of Winnipeg's historic North End and that is what we should be talking about and doing," said Wyatt.
A provincial study on moving the rail yards is on the table. But some say the dream of rail relocation is too far down the line, a bridge is needed now.
“The bridge is 105 years old now and it's clearly showing its age," said Pagtakhan.
The city would have to secure provincial and federal dollars to pay for the project. If all goes according to plan the report predicts the new bridge would be completed in 2025.