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The $6.2-million skywalk extension connects City Place mall to the Delta Hotel and the Convention Centre. ((CBC))

The latest extension to Winnipeg's downtown weather-protected skywalk system was opened Monday.

The newest link crosses St. Mary Avenue and Hargrave Street, connecting City Place mall to the Delta Hotel and the Convention Centre.

The $6.2-million project was funded by the three levels of government and numerous private sector partners.

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The corner of St. Mary Avenue and Hargrave Street as it appeared before the skywalk was constructed. ((Google Street View))

Monday's grand opening and ribbon cutting was attended by MP Steven Fletcher, MLA Ron Lemieux, deputy mayor Justin Swandel and Bob Eastwood of Number 10 architectural group, which designed the extension.

"The weather protected walkway is a major component to the revitalization of our downtown as we connect more people to more locations for year-round accessibility," said Swandel, the city councillor for St. Norbert.

The network of pedestrian walkways and tunnels links nearly 40 buildings in the downtown, including offices, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, the MTS Centre, the Millennium Library and now the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

"The expansion of the walkway provides safe, convenient access to downtown and encourages people to live, work, and play in the heart of Winnipeg," said Fletcher.

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There are 48 colour changes along the route of the skywalk extension, intended to animate the experience of movement. ((CBC))

"I can remember on numerous occasions being stuck in the overpass between the Convention Centre and the Delta Hotel and you'd have to go down and up and through a series of elevators and it was a real difficulty."

The latest stretch of the skywalk is accessible from street level via an enclosed stairway and elevator entrance at the corner of St. Mary and Carlton Street.

"The gently shifting colours of the walkway animate the experience of movement and are meant to mimic those found in nature, according to a news release issued by the City of Winnipeg.

"There are 48 subtle colour changes as one progresses along the route. The exterior features a sparkling multi-colour lighting system, which at night becomes a vibrant, focal point in the downtown."