Active transportation bridge a real blessing https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/herald/correspondent/Activ...
In 2013, the active transportation bridge linking Elmwood with Point Douglas was opened. Now in 2020, the bridge remains a useful connection between two neighbourhoods, giving cyclists and pedestrians options as they travel across the city.
Before the bridge was constructed, getting from one side of the Red River to another on foot or by bicycle was somewhat complicated, often involving a long detour to the Louise or Redwood Bridges. Even for drivers, the trip over the bridge was somewhat risky, as evidenced by the number of times someone failed to navigate the entry onto Henderson Highway successfully and crashed into a house just beyond the curve.
While the new Disraeli Bridge helped to correct some of the problems that caused accidents such as these, the active transportation bridge gave people another option for crossing the river. Access from the Elmwood side is on Midwinter Avenue, one block south of Talbot Avenue. On the Point Douglas side, the bridge connects with Rover Avenue, parallel to Higgins Avenue.
As the City of Winnipeg website explains, the active transportation bridge incorporates several of the supporting piers from the old bridge. At five metres wide, the bridge is sufficiently large to allow for several cyclists and pedestrians to pass each other without crowding each other. The bridge is high enough to allow boats to pass by on the river without making the slope excessively steep for cyclists.
Although some features that were originally planned for the bridge, such as benches, failed to materialize, many interesting features were included in the design. On one side of the pathway, patterns of holes punched into steel structures help to tell the stories of the neighbourhoods the bridge connects. Several lookout areas give people the chance to stop for a few minutes out of the way of traffic to admire the river or to watch birds flying or swimming by.
While the current enthusiasm for walking and cycling might eventually diminish, structures like the active transportation bridge between Elmwood and Point Douglas are good for encouraging Winnipeggers to get out into the fresh air. With the additional opportunity to learn about the neighbourhood, the bridge serves a useful purpose in the city.
*Susan Huebert is a community correspondent for Elmwood. *