The Provencher Bridge

The Provencher Bridge is a really stunning structure.  I like to look way up at the top of the bridge where all the side spar cables join together. It always makes me a bit dizzy but the pristine white bridge cables created such an intriguing and lovely pattern against the blue sky. 

The bridge spans the Red River and is actually the third bridge built in the same location. The current bridge erected in 2003 was designed by Etienne Gaboury and Colin Stewart. They were very creative and as I walk across the bridge I often wonder how they dreamed up the plans for such an unusual structure. The pedestrian part of the bridge is called Esplanade Riel. It is named after the Metis leader Louis Riel the founder of Manitoba. 

There is some lovely indigenous art on the bridge. Symbols for flying birds, the sun, flowers, fish, feathers, hills and waterfowl are etched into the stone almost like fossils as well as some ribbons or ropes that are reminiscent of the bridge’s cables or  Metis sashes.On another section of the girders, the art isn’t quite the same. A sun stylized in a unique way is the focal piece again, but this time there are butterflies and moths and some crawling creatures that look like grasshoppers and beetles.  Once again there are the winding pieces that look like sashes, roads, paths or perhaps the back of a snake.

There is a restaurant on the bridge.  A number of different eating establishments have tried to run a successful business in the building but none last for long. Now the restaurant sits empty.  As I walk across the Provencher Bridge and view the stately historic St. Boniface Basilica facade through the bridge cables I am always struck by what I beautiful city I live in!

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Filed under Art, History, Nature, Winnipeg

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