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RM puts out call for swinging bridge champions


The Rural Municipality (RM) of Dauphin is putting out the call for individuals interested in forming a committee to save the Valley River Suspension Bridge.
“We’ll try to guage public interest in saving the bridge that’s there,” said RM of Dauphin councillor Jack Bremner.
The structure needs substantial repairs, he said, noting an estimate from an engineer calculated repairs would cost over $150,000 and as is, the bridge is not safe for the public.
Bremner lives in the area and has received several calls from ratepayers concerned the bridge would be removed.
“It’s important to the people that live right there,” he said.
“I know as a teenager, we partied there.”
The historic site of Manitoba is important to others, as well, Bremner said, pointing out it is the only swinging cable bridge in the Parkland.
According to the Manitoba Historial Society, the small suspension bridge over the Valley River was constructed in the 1970s, using the concrete abutments of a former, more substantial bridge, probably dating from around 1920 and over the years, users have carved their initials in the wooden walkway.
Unfortunately, someone vandalized the bridge, Bremner said, and the RM had to close it about three years ago.
Council is concerned, he added, the public is not taking that closure seriously.
“We’ve barricaded it several times. The barricades are taken down and we’ve put them back up,” he explained.
Bremner is spearheading the project, adding there are no promises from council. But they hope to find a way to mobilize the community and raise funds to repair the bridge.
He anticipates a meeting date and location will be set for the end of October, after harvest is done.
“I just hope that the community can come together and possibly save this important part of Dauphin,” Bremner said.
Anyone interested in sitting on the committee to repair the swinging bridge is asked to contact Bremner at 204-638-7268 or by email at counciljack@hotmail.com.

M. A. Nyquist