Walterdale Bridge: Old is New Again

By Kurt Bauschardt – 

An update on a post I wrote back in 2011 about the original Walterdale Bridge. At that time, River City council approved a budget of $132 million to build a new, iconic Walterdale Bridge to replace the 1913 original that had come to the end of its lifespan.

The new three-lane arch bridge was to open in the fall of 2015.

However, this is River City. And in River City, any major transportation project — be it a bridge, interchange, freeway, or light rail transit — is rarely completed on time or on budget.

The new Walterdale Bridge finally opened two years late on September 18, 2017 at a cost of $155 million.

It opened quietly with little fanfare. City managers chose not to hold a major news event showcasing the bridge’s opening, in part because they did not want to disrupt traffic. Or so they said.

Maybe it’s all water under the bridge now, as the new Walterdale Bridge is a engineering beauty.

Perhaps good things come to those who wait (and wait) in River City.

(Following is the original post from 2011)

The Walterdale Bridge – River City’s green beast – will soon be a part of history. Built in 1913, the Walterdale will be decommissioned and replaced by a new arch design. New Walterdale bridge

Construction will probably begin in the spring of 2013 with a budget of around $132 million. Right now, city council is wrestling with what to do with the current Walterdale when the new bridge is completed.
A recent report provided to council suggests that keeping it open for pedestrian and cycle would be too expensive.

That’s too bad. Although I don’t find the green beast a thing of beauty, it’s an important link to another era. It’s part of our history; it’s a part of us. Too often in River City we tear down our civic identities, replacing what should be cherished pieces of our past with shiny new things devoid of any character. It will be a shame to see the old girl go.

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