A tender has been awarded to begin work on rebuilding the famed swinging bridge in Souris, Manitoba.
The local landmark was destroyed during the 2011 flood and eventually cut down.
The new 184-metre bridge will be rebuilt at a higher elevation and to modern safety standards. Construction is set to begin almost immediately and town officials are hopeful the bridge will be completed by this summer’s tourist season.
The cables to Souris’ famed swinging bridge were cut last year as a precaution during the flood of 2011, but the structure will soon rise once again.
Town officials plan to rebuild the popular tourist attraction and held an open house Wednesday night to show off their plans to the public.
The suspension bridge won’t hold the historic value of its predecessor, but will be longer. The new bridge is expected to be 184 metres (603 feet) and be in operation in time for the 2013 tourist season.
The dismantling of the bridge last year was done due to flooding along the Souris River.
Manitobans affected by last year’s flood are invited to attend two open houses this week in Brandon and Souris.
The Manitoba Flood Review Task Force is hosting the open houses in communities impacted by the record flooding seen in 2011. Residents will be able to meet with task force members, provide feedback on a wide range of issues related to last year’s flood, and learn more about the task force’s mandate and factors that contributed to the flood.
The task force was appointed by the province to independently examine a range of matters related to last year’s historic flood, including preparedness and response, flood forecasting, public communications, operation of flood control infrastructure and flood protection.
The first open house will be held today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Brandon’s Keystone Centre (Salon A). On Thursday, residents in Souris can attend the Souris Glenwood Memorial Complex (Kirkup Lounge) between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
A two-vehicle crash between a car and an ambulance has killed a 54-year-old Souris man.
The head-on collision happened Thursday at about 6 p.m. on PR 250, roughly five kilometres north of Souris in the RM of Glenwood.
Witnesses reported a 2006 Kia Spectra was travelling southbound when it crossed the centre line and collided with a northbound ambulance.
The driver and lone occupant of the Kia was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to RCMP. The driver of the ambulance was transported to Winnipeg with critical injuries, while a second EMT and patient were transported to hospital with serious injuries.
The highway remained closed to traffic until about 11 p.m. while police investigated.
Speed and alcohol are not considered factors in the crash.
Residents living in Souris will begin receiving help from the Canadian military with their flood-fighting efforts.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger announced Saturday that 200 Canadian Forces personnel will be providing immediate support in the area.
The town has been battling the rising Souris River, which has created havoc south of the border in Minot, North Dakota, and continues to increase in height on the Manitoba side.
“The Town of Souris asked the provincial government for additional resources and, given the short time frame and the need to quickly mobilize resources, I authorized the request to the Department of National Defence for military support,” Selinger said in a release.
More than 150 people continue to work on building up Souris’ earthen dike, which needs to be topped up with sandbags.