Sunday, August 23, 2009

Detour, anyone?

Remember in the last post I was explaining my recent shopping trip with all the kids? Well, on that particular trip and most every trip into the big city of Winnipeg, the capital city of Manitoba, I need to cross a particular bridge. This bridge is called the Ste. Adolphe bridge and crosses the mighty Red River that flows throughout southern Manitoba. The town I occupy is located on one side of the river and Winnipeg on the other. As I was going on my shopping adventure, I noticed a large barricade before the bridge indicating that it was closed. Now, you must realize, this is a major bridge which allows access to a major highway for a large number of communities in southern Manitoba. With this bridge closed, the detours are about 10 minutes in either direction. Just a tad inconvenient. However, I went about my shopping experience with a slight delay and thought nothing much of it. Until I got home and checked the net. Turns out the bridge was closed on that same day because one of the main supporting concrete structures for the bridge, measuring 3 meters by 6 meters, shifted by more than a meter. Perhaps a photo will help!

This is a photo from one side of the bridge - doesn't look that bad. Well, okay it looks bad but not super bad. Check out this next one!!

Can you believe what is happening to this bridge?? I am so very VERY thankful that Provincial officials were monitoring the bridge and discovered this "problem" before anyone was hurt! To think I was going to use that bridge ON THAT DAY!! Well, these pix were taken 3 days later and apparently the bridge is still shifting. No one is quite sure what is happening. Some think the Manitoba gumbo clay is sinking thereby causing the pier to move. Some think that with the spring flood we had this year, which brought major ice chunks moving through the river, that the pier was seriously damaged or possibly even cracked or severed below the water level. Maybe even below the clay! Whatever the case, officials are continuously checking it out (9pm on a Sunday evening!) to figure out what is actually happening. Some speculate a new bridge may need to be constructed so this detour may be in place for 1 - 2 years! Many years ago, before this bridge existed, they used a ferry of sorts to shuttle people from one side of the river to the other. Maybe it is time for that again!

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