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Manitoba town divided by burned-out bridge

A burned-out bridge in a small Manitoba town is creating headaches for residents and businesses.

A burned-out bridge in a small Manitoba town is creating headaches for residents and businesses.

The historic landmark, which connected one side of the town to the other, was damaged by a fire last weekend.

Now, residents have to take a 6.5-kilometres detour just to get to the other side. And it's not known when or if the bridge will be replaced.

Mayor Henry Barkowski said the damage is extensive and could cost anywhere from $1 million to $2 million to repair.

"It will never be the same. I mean the historic value will be gone," he said.

"The quaintness will be gone and you know, we'll try to replace it to be an attractive bridge [but] that will all be driven by the costs associated."

Barkowski says an engineer will assess the extent of damage and a better idea of the costs will be known then.

Two 17-year-old boys have been charged with arson for the fire.

"It makes it tragic you know young people would be involved in that. I have a hard time understanding why that particular site was chosen," said Barkowski.

Minitonas is located about 470 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

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