The Chief Peguis Trail extension, linking north Main Street to Lagimodiere Boulevard, opened a year ahead of schedule on Friday.
Political dignitaries were on hand at 11 a.m. to officially cut the ribbon where the trail intersects with Gateway Road.
Following those formalities for the media, the CPT extension was opened to the public at the other end, where it meets up with Henderson Highway.
The four-kilometre extension runs from Henderson, cuts through River East and Sun Valley neighbourhoods, where new overpasses were built for Rothesay Street traffic, then links with Lagimodiere just south of Springfield Road.
It will serve approximately 23,000 vehicles every day, alleviating congestion on streets such as Springfield and McLeod Avenue.
The growth of northeast Winnipeg has generated the need for improved east-west traffic routes and the extension had been discussed for years before the three levels of government agreed on how to fund the $110-million project last year.
It builds off the older section of the Chief Peguis Trail, which was opened in October 1990. That 1.5-kilometre roadway crosses the Red River on the Kildonan Settlers Bridge, linking Main Street with Henderson Highway.
The long awaited extension is earning accolades from drivers but not everyone is happy about it. Some homes on Rothesay Street now face three-metre-high concrete barricades where they once looked out on green space.
That green space is now taken up by the new trail.
One woman who has lived in her home for 42 years now describes herself as a prisoner.
The only access to her house now is by the lane and that has created all kinds of problems. She recently had to call an ambulance and the paramedics had to come through her garage to get to her in the house.
She doesn't want to move but even if she did try to sell, she can't see anyone wanting to buy her house.