Well, if it isn’t the bridge we said we’d cross when we got there.
All us cyclists and other active transportation enthusiasts are hoping that, having been nice all year, we’ll be in Santa’s good book again this year. And all we want for the holidays is a new Arlington Bridge!Seriously though, at Bike Winnipeg, we’ve been saying all along that a replacement plan must move ahead. And it’s even more critical now as the 111-year-old structure has outlived its useful life and is closed indefinitely. Plans for replacement of the bridge, along with installation of protected bike lanes between McDermot Avenue and Selkirk Avenue have already been developed and went through an extensive public engagement process the City conducted between 2014 and 2019.
Had those studies been followed up with funding for the recommended replacement bridge, a new bridge would have opened in 2025. Instead, there is no plan in place to provide a vital connection between the North End and the West Alexander and Daniel McIntyre neighbourhoods. This leaves a huge gap in the City’s transportation network, and an almost insurmountable gap in the planned bicycle network.
It’s our position that in the absence of any budgeted plans to remove the CPR Winnipeg Yards and mainline, the Arlington Street Bridge must be replaced to maintain access between the neighbourhoods. Detouring traffic to Salter and McPhillips is not a long-term solution and does not help those on bikes, on foot, or relying on transit.In the meantime, we will work with City Council and the public service to seek adequate detours to and across the McPhillips Underpass and Slaw Rebchuk Bridge.The response from some is “oh well, just go around!” But detouring traffic to Salter and McPhillips is not a long-term solution and does not help those on bikes, on foot, or relying on transit. In the absence of any budgeted plans to remove the CPR Winnipeg Yards , the Arlington Street Bridge must be replaced to maintain vital access between the neighbourhoods.We’ll keep pressing City Hall with this message and encourage Winnipeggers to write to Mayor Gillingham and Councillor Lukes, Chair of Public Works and express your concerns about preserving and enhancing transportation equity for all citizens.
The people most affected by this gap are those identified as having the highest need, in an area of the city identified as having some of the highest potential for cycling.
The Arlington Bridge is a critical connection for people living in neighbourhoods identified by the city as higher needs areas.
The Arlington Bridge runs through an area of the city identified in the City’s award winning Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies as having high potential for cycling.