Pedestrians, cyclists try out Inglewood's new bridge

A bridge from Inglewood to the East Village has unofficially opened for pedestrians and cyclists.

Elbow River Traverse to have official opening Tuesday but is open to use on Monday

The new Elbow River Traverse officially opens Tuesday but that didn't stop pedestrians and cyclists from using it early. (Carla Beynon/CBC)

Pedestrians and cyclists were among the first to try out a new bridge in Calgary that connects Inglewood to the East Village.

The Elbow River Traverse, from Eighth Street S.E. to Fort Calgary, officially opens Tuesday but some people just couldn't wait.

The Elbow River Traverse cost $3 million. (Carla Beynon/CBC)

"This is really good because we don't have to go out there to the traffic and the train," said Hugh Weightman, who says he will use the bridge every day while out for his walk. "This gives us lots of room for the walkers or the runners."

The bridge is expected to handle about 1,000 people per day as commuters use it to get downtown.

Officials say that although it's not technically open, there's no problem with people using it early.

"Some people came down and took down the fence and they started using it," said Michael Brown, president and CEO of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. "We evaluated it, nobody was going to get hurt, so there was no reason to stop people from using it."

Brown says the bridge still needs some landscaping done but after that's completed, the corporation's focus will be on the next phase of the River Walk.

The bridge is expected to handle about 1,000 people a day and gives commuters a new way to get downtown. (Carla Beynon/CBC)