*City unveils options for pedestrian bridge*
THREE designs for a pedestrian and bike bridge over the Assiniboine River — connecting Osborne Village to downtown— have been released by the City of Winnipeg for public input.
The bridge will connect Mc Fadyen Park on the north side of the river to Fort Rouge Park on the south side.
“This is a very important part of our active-transportation strategy,” said ward Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry). “This is part of AT route plan that will connect the Osborne Village transit station through the Village to the bridge and then into the downtown and The Forks.”
The consulting team has developed three options for the proposed river crossing: a girder bridge, a doublecurved cable bridge, and a suspension bridge.
“This particular project has been talked about for decades,” Gerbasi said. “It’s one of the most exciting AT things we’re talking about.”
While Gerbasi is excited about the project, a suburban councillor is not.
At Thursday’s council meeting, North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty questioned the need for another bridge over the Assiniboine River in that area.
“If you look at the map, between The Forks and on to the Maryland Street bridge, there’s pretty good coverage for people to get across the river,” Browaty told reporters. “Spending another $15-, $20- or who-knows-howmany millions of dollars to build an additional pedestrian bridge in this location is not the next priority in my mind.
“They are lovely looking bridges, but I just question it.”
Browaty said themoney wouldbebetter spent building a movable downtown bike network and connecting it with the suburbs.
“We’ve built a lot of good (cycling) networks to get to the downtown from different quadrants of the city,” he said. “One piece that is missing is that final mile to get from the AT paths to downtown destinations. That would be a better investment.”
The proposed bridge is mid-way between the Midtown (Donald Street) and the Osborne Street bridges.
Gerbasi dismissed Browaty’s criticisms as pre-election pandering, adding that the proposed bridge is integral to linking the downtown bike network to the suburbs. She said neither the Midtown nor the Osborne bridges are adequate cycling routes, and no cost has been determined yet for the proposed crossing.
Gerbasi said the city is taking the same planning approach for the project as it’s done for the William R. Clement Parkway extension and the widening of Kenaston Boulevard.
“We do the study now, so that we’re ready when the funding becomes available,” she said.
The project website (//wfp.to/ KOI) says it is one of four pedestrian/ cycling crossings being considered by public works in the next two years, at a cost of $31 million. The others
include: Bishop Grandin Greenway over Pembina Highway (2019); Maple Street through-pass of the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline (2020); and a crossing over the Seine River (2019).
Consulting firm WSP Canada Group was awarded a contract at the end of October at a cost of $358,351 (following a public tendering process) to design the bridge with a network connection to the Osborne Village transit station.
Now that WSP has developed three bridge designs, city hall wants public feedback on each.
A public workshop is scheduled for June 5, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Augustine United Church (444 River Ave.). The format will include a presentation, followed by discussion groups.
Throughout the summer, the project team will finalize the recommended functional design of cycling connections and preliminary design of the bridge and parks. The designs will be submitted for city council consideration once they are finished.
A detailed design phase will be required ahead of project construction. Funding for detailed design and construction will be contingent on council approval. A final public engagement report will be available on the project site in the fall.
Gerbasi said since she’s not running for re-election in October, she won’t be around to make a decision on a bridge design “but I’ve been here to see the project reach this point, and I hope that a future council has the foresight to invest in our long-term active transportation plans.”
Option 1: Girder Bridge is a straight bridge that would cross the Assiniboine River at a skew angle. There are two areas of the bridge that gradually expand to seven-metres-wide overlook points.
According to the city’s website, this bridge can be made more aesthetically beautiful with lighting and artistic features, and includes a unique shallow girder design, intended to present a slender modern look to the structure.
This bridge is the cheapest option.
Option 2: Cable-Stayed Bridge is a double-curved structure and would be the first curvilinear cable-stayed bridge in Canada.
It would be “aesthetically unique, as it allows someone on the bridge to see the other side of the bridge while crossing it,” the website noted, while it “mimics the meandering rivers and streets along rivers in Winnipeg.”
The centre of each of the two bridge curves gradually expands to a seven-metres-wide overlook point. A long bench would be built in to each of
the inner curves.
This option is more expensive than the proposed girder bridge.
Option 3: Suspension Bridge is a straight crossing at a skew angle, and would be the only suspension bridge in Winnipeg, which could prove a tourist attraction.
The centre of the bridge gradually expands to a seven-metres-wide overlook point, and has two piers at each end from which cables are suspended. The piers would be located on the riverbanks, and the suspension cables strung between them will resemble two separated spaces now connected and held together by the new structure.
The bridge piers and cables allow for the inclusion of artistic lighting above the bridge.
This option is more expensive than the girder bridge and is comparable in price to the cable-stayed bridge.
*Details on the proposed Osborne pedestrian cycling river crossing can be found at //wfp.to/KOI http://wfp.to/KOI.*