SOURIS — The official reopening of the Souris Swinging Bridge got underway at the same time as the rain on Saturday.
Despite the weather, a large crowd gathered on the east side of the bridge to celebrate the new bridge being opened.
“It’s our CN Tower and Niagara Falls rolled into one,” said Mayor Darryl Jackson. “It is a major tourist attraction for the community and we are happy to see it fully functional once again.”
Jackson was joined to cut the ribbon by Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Larry Maguire, Spruce Woods Progressive Conservative MLA Cliff Cullen and Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell.
Representatives from Stantec and WBS Construction also took the opportunity to talk about their experiences replacing the historic bridge.
“We have been involved since the first review and inspection following the 2011 flood,” said Stantec’s Kevin Amy. “It is great to see it all come together and how hard everyone has worked to get to today.”
The decision was made on July 3 during the 2011 flood to cut away one side of the swinging bridge. It was difficult but council found it to be the best decision to avoid damage to the new dikes that had been built.
This is the second Souris bridge that Maguire has seen built in his lifetime. The bridge was also rebuilt after the 1976 flood.
“Like the first swinging bridge did, this is really a way to unite the town,” Maguire said. “Many people walk across every day and I think this one is much heavier and more accessible than the last.”
The grand opening of the new swinging bridge was one of many celebrations during Souris Still Swingin’ Weekend that wraps up with Glen Sutter and his band playing in Victoria Park before the annual fireworks display tonight.
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