The end of winter means it's time for Winnipeg's other season -- road construction, which begins in earnest Friday with the resumption of the Osborne Bridge rehabilitation.
The $17.2-million project, which involves the resurfacing and widening of Osborne Street from Broadway Ave to River Ave, began last year with work on the east side of the bridge over the Assiniboine River.
Work on the west side of the bridge will begin on Friday March 30, reducing traffic to three lanes, the City's Public Works department announced in a statement. One lane will be for northbound traffic, a second for southbound traffic, and a third lane will alternate, depending on the time. The City employed this system last year.
Walk your bike on the bridge sidewalk:
Last year, many north bound cyclists were ticketed for riding over the bridge's west sidewalk. Instead of warning cyclists to dismount before crossing the bridge, traffic officers ticketed cyclists as soon as they crested the bridge. Cyclists can expect a similar situation this year.
The pedestrian/cyclist underpass on the north side of the Assiniboine River (which connects Assiniboine Ave with Mostyn Place) will remain open as long as river levels are low enough. If river levels rise, the City urges pedestrians and dismounted cyclists to exercise caution when they cross Osborne .
Be careful when crossing Osborne Street:
It is unlikely that a temporary cross walk, police presence, or other crossing assistance will be provided. As well, cyclists and pedestrians should be warned that, although there were no reports of jaywalking tickets last year, that possibility remains. It is unknown whether or not car-bike/ped accidents occurred at this location last year.
The city hopes to complete construction by September and reopen two lanes of traffic in each direction while crews erect a barrier in the middle of the bridge to separate traffic. The entire project is expected to be finished in October, with three southbound lanes, two northbound lanes, and both a bike lane and sidewalk in each direction.