Louis Bridge Update

By: Jim Maloway, MLA for Elmwood

As published in The Herald

October 5, 2015

The Louise Bridge — Winnipeg’s first bridge — has served as a vital link between the growing east side and downtown Winnipeg for 134 years.

From 1881 until 1911 pedestrians, horse-drawn carts, and even trains crossed the bridge, going about their daily business. Eventually, modern times caught up with the original structure and it was rebuilt as the vehicle bridge we know today.

Now, during the busy work week, the Louise handles over 25,000 vehicles per day. Because of its design, each vehicle must enter the bridge in single file. This means delays. Unfortunately, the bridge is too old to be refurbished and a brand-new bridge must be built again.

Replacement planning started in 2008 and budgets were drawn up for studies for a new bridge on the same site. An added benefit of this planning was that it addressed serious riverbank erosion that affects the seniors’ home at 404 Desalaberry. According to the City of Winnipeg’s 2009 capital budget and transportation plans, the plan was to build a new four-lane Louise Bridge replacement in 2015.

We need to make the Louise bridge a true priority again. Winnipeg recognized that the bridge needed to be updated for the times in 2008, so why can’t we do it today?

My hope is that the new Louise will be situated at the same site as the current bridge, where the City has already expropriated houses. This way the old Louise can remain open to pedestrian and light local traffic.

I invite you to visit the website at www.louisebridge.com, so that you can tell us what you think: should the old bridge be replaced, on the same site, with a new four-lane bridge? Lend your voice and your opinion to this important matter.

If you have any questions or need more information, please call my office at 204-415-1122, or email me at Jim.Maloway@YourManitoba.ca.