WINNIPEG – Effective immediately, the Arlington Bridge in Winnipeg has been shut down indefinitely due to serious structural concerns identified in a recent bridge condition assessment.
This major transportation artery, which is over 111 years old, plays a crucial role in connecting traffic in and out of the north end of Winnipeg.
As a result of the closure, all vehicles, including cyclists, pedestrians and scooter users are required to detour.
The advised alternate routes are the McPhillips Street underpass and the Slaw Rebchuk Bridge (Salter Street).
To alleviate traffic congestion, especially during peak hours, motorists are encouraged to re-route at Selkirk Avenue or Notre Dame Avenue, avoiding potential bottlenecks at Logan Avenue and Dufferin Avenue.
The Arlington Bridge’s durability has been a concern for the City of Winnipeg for nearly a decade. In 2016, an engineering report highlighted the bridge as nearing the end of its serviceable life.
This prompted the Better Bridge for Arlington Study, culminating in a preliminary design for a new bridge by 2019.
Despite being recognized as a priority, the project remains unfunded.
Efforts to extend the bridge’s life through annual closures and maintenance have been ongoing. However, these measures were always underlined by the possibility of an imminent, more permanent closure, a statement from the city reads.
A contract initiated in mid-2023 sought to explore the feasibility of either extensive rehabilitation or decommissioning the bridge.
The preliminary findings of the current study indicate severe steel corrosion and issues with structural supports, deeming the bridge unsafe for continued use without significant repairs. The inability of the structural steel truss spans to expand and contract with temperature changes poses an additional risk, the city adds.
While the bridge remains closed, the city plans to continue assessing the feasibility of a long-term rehabilitation. Simultaneously, short-term maintenance will be undertaken to ensure the safety of the area, particularly over the rail yards below.
The future of the Arlington Bridge, whether it involves rehabilitation or decommissioning, will be determined based on the final results of the ongoing study.