The community of St. Jean-Baptiste, MB has been divided since a controlled explosion demolished the town’s only bridge across the Red River on Feb 16.

Edmee Sabourin lives on the east side of the river and said she used to be able to make the trip from her home to town in five minutes. Now she has to detour 28 kilometers each way through the town of Morris, the closest location with a bridge.

"I've lived there all my life. I've worked on the west side of the river and I do all my business on the west side of the river, My friends live on the west side of the river," said Sabourin.

Hundreds of people attended a meeting with Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation to learn more about why the bridge had to be destroyed and what plans are in place to replace it.

They were told the west bank of the Red River had slumped suddenly in the fall of 2012 and caused significant structural damage to the bridge which was deemed unsafe to cross.

Engineers calculated it would be cheaper to build a new crossing than to repair the existing one and the decision was made to demolish the bridge.

So far there has been no commitment from the province about when, or even if, a new crossing will be built.

That doesn’t sit well with people in St. Jean-Baptiste.

"As far as I'm concerned, it might take five years, it might take 10 years, but one thing is for sure, this community is not going to give up until we have a new bridge across that river," said Sabourin.

Progressive Conservative MLA Cliff Graydon was at the meeting and told the crowd the province should be seeking infrastructure money from the federal government to build a new crossing.

"There should have been a claim made. There hasn't been a claim made and since the bridge has gone down there hasn't been a claim made either,” he said.

Engineers have estimated the cost of a new bridge at more than $50-million and say it could take up to five years to plan and build.