Ar­ling­ton Bridge re­place­ment plan tak­ing shape

Pre­lim­i­nary de­signs of new over­pass ex­pected by Jan­uary

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - BEN WALDMAN ben.waldman@freep­ress.mb.ca

ITH de­vel­op­ment plans un­der­way to re­place Win­nipeg’s 105-year-old Ar­ling­ton Bridge, the project’s ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee is look­ing for pub­lic feed­back on pre­lim­i­nary ideas.

“We have a good idea of what the de­sign is go­ing to look like,” bridge plan­ning and op­er­a­tions en­gi­neer Darren Burmey said Wed­nes­day morn­ing near the north­ern base of the bridge, with the Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way yards in the back­ground.

Based on a 2015 study of best po­ten­tial cross­ing sites of the rai­l­yards, the new struc­ture is pro­posed to be built ad­ja­cent to the cur­rent span, which will re­main in ser­vice dur­ing con­struc­tion, min­i­miz­ing traf­fic dis­rup­tion un­til the re­place­ment is com­pleted.

The cur­rent bridge has served as a vital north-south link since 1912, but Point Dou­glas Coun. Mike Pag­takhan said it needs to be re­placed for a grow­ing city with grow­ing needs.

Ac­cord­ing to the project plans, Burmey said the new bridge will be re­con­fig­ured to ac­com­mo­date “users of all abil­i­ties.”

There will be two side­walks, two bike lanes and three traf­fic lanes, in­clud­ing turn­ing lanes to max­i­mize ve­hi­cle move­ment.

At Duf­ferin Av­enue, at the north end of the pro­posed bridge, the space will be closed to traf­fic and a new pedes­trian un­der­pass will be in­stalled.

Emer­gency re­sponse ve­hi­cles will be able to ac­cess the new bridge, some­thing not pos­si­ble now.

Burmey said pre­lim­i­nary de­signs are ex­pected to be com­pleted by Jan­uary 2018, giv­ing a rough es­ti­mate of mid2020 as a re­al­is­tic start time for con­struc­tion.

W“You might not see ev­ery­thing open and com­pleted un­til 2023,” he added. After the pre­lim­i­nary de­signs are com­pleted, a re­port will be passed to city coun­cil for ap­proval of funds and other gov­ern­men­tal over­sight. The project must se­cure up­wards of $300 mil­lion in fund­ing to move for­ward.

Pag­takhan said a re­quest for fed­eral money is “very im­mi­nent,” al­though he didn’t elab­o­rate fur­ther.

When pressed on the mat­ter, Pag­takhan didn’t say whether the new bridge would sig­nal the move­ment or re­place­ment of the rai­l­yards.

“Rail re­place­ment is re­ally the ini­tia­tive of (the Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way). If it’s a project that they’re will­ing to un­der­take, then we’ll work in part­ner­ship with them,” he said.

The lo­ca­tion com­pli­cates de­sign and con­struc­tion, Burmey said.

“The bridge is tricky to build, as it is over the ac­tive Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way yards, and a great deal of co-or­di­na­tion is re­quired,” he said.

Ques­tions like those re­lated to the rail­ways, the bridge’s struc­ture and the use of nearby sur­plus land, among oth­ers, can be an­swered if cit­i­zens par­tic­i­pate in the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee’s out­reach pro­grams. Peo­ple can at­tend a host of neigh­bour­hood events out­lined on the project web­site, win­nipeg.ca/bet­ter­ar­ling­ton, or com­plete a five-minute sur­vey. Feed­back can also be posted to so­cial me­dia with #bet­ter­ar­ling­ton.

Reg­u­lar main­te­nance will con­tinue on the ex­ist­ing bridge.

Travel over the new bridge will un­doubt­edly fea­ture a sig­nif­i­cantly more grad­ual grade change, elim­i­nat­ing the fa­mous “Ar­ling­ton Bridge bump.”

SARAH TAY­LOR / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Above: Work on a re­place­ment for the 105-year-old Ar­ling­ton Street bridge would not start un­til 2020, en­gi­neer Darren Burmey said.

SUP­PLIED

Left: An artist’s ren­der­ing of what a new Ar­ling­ton Bridge could look like.

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