Love it, or hate it it is finally open. The Peace Bridge was officially opened today with a celebration put on by the City. Thousands of Calgarians made it down to check out the bridge by walking and cycling across the span. Many people were there with cameras in hand snapping pictures of the unique looking bridge which does not have any supports in the river. It is unarguably an iconic structure that we will no doubt see pop up in images of Calgary around the world.
A few food trucks were parked on the south side of the bridge including the mini donuts trailer which had a huge lineup for most of the day. There was even a vendor selling lattes for the elite users of the bridge that live in Sunnyside (hah!). Despite the gloomy weather, and the lack of landscaping work it seemed as though everyone had a good time.
For Ald. Druh Farrell, it was obvious the opening was an emotional moment. She was seen on numerous occasions wiping away tears as people came up to her. Time will tell if Calgarians that are opposed to the bridge will get over it and move on. It is a shame that the bridge is over-shadowed by such controversy as it really does look great. It will only look better once the landscaping is complete–it was nixed to keep the project on budget. Right now it is a giant mud pit around the paved paths leading up to the bridge.
Rick Bell from the Calgary Sun who doesn’t hide the fact that he absolutely hates the bridge was on hand. You can tell he didn’t really care for what Ald. Druh Farrell had to say though ;) He probably would have told her how he felt about the bridge in person but maybe Farrell’s security detail provided enough intimidation to scare him away. I wonder if she was expecting throngs of protestors at the opening celebrations or if she normally travels with them in tow.
If you didn’t go down to check it out, be sure to go down and walk or cycle over the bridge. Is is nearly two vehicle lanes wide with separate cycling and walking paths. In fact, it can accomodate so many people that I hope all future Bow River flow events are held on the bridge so we don’t have to close off vehicle infrastruture (Memorial Drive) when we have this beautiful pedestrian infrastructure in place.