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Winnipeg to spend $1M to prevent collapse of Arlington Street Bridge


The City of Winnipeg is set to put money into the Arlington Street Bridge even though it remains closed to traffic.

The crossing was shut down late last year for safety reasons after years of patch work.

Now, the city is looking for a contractor to do up to $1 million worth of repairs, but not to reopen the bridge.

Renee Snezyk, a life-long North Ender who also works nearby, wishes the Arlington Street Bridge was open

"Because we use this like daily, it's a huge inconvenience for us,” she said.

The Arlington Street Bridge closed indefinitely last year over safety issues. It was supposed to be decommissioned in 2020 and has had temporary fixes over the years.

Now the city is set to shell out up to $1 million just to keep the bridge from falling down on the railyard below.

"There's definitely other ways that that money could be used,” Snezyk said.

A tender is seeking a contractor to replace bearings on three piers.

The city says the work needs to be done to ensure the bridge's stability is safe, but does not include reopening.

"Why spend a million to make it so it won't collapse?" said Coun. Ross Eadie.

Eadie says the city should instead tear down the bridge and construct a new one.

"Why are we wasting our money when we should have a fully functional new bridge," he said.

Public works committee chair Janice Lukes says demolition is not as easy as it seems as the round-the-clock operation of trains in the Canadian Pacific Kansas City rail yard underneath complicates matters.

“It takes time to coordinate with the rail lines, it takes time to get special equipment, special cranes, all sorts of things in to disassemble a bridge,” she said.

The city has a feasibility study in the works, looking at future options including widening nearby crossings to help with traffic flow, tearing it down and building a new replacement bridge or refurbishing the current one to extend the lifespan by 25 years

"Is it possible to do the 25-year fix? I think we all kind of know maybe it isn't, but let's hear what they have to say,” Lukes said.

The city doesn't have money budgeted to demolish the current bridge and build a new one.

It developed plans for a new bridge in 2016 but cost estimates were in the $300 million range.

Lukes says no matter what the solution is, a new north - south connection is required. Top Stories

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