Peace Bridge placed over Bow River
Calgary’s new Peace Bridge has been inched into place over the Bow River.
Workers began moving the controversial bridge from its enclosure on the south side of the Bow at Seventh Street S.W. on Thursday, slowly sliding it across the water along rails on a temporary wood bridge.
"I was surprised to see it...it kind of appeared overnight," said Kerri Blare, who bikes by the site daily.
The $24.5 million bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, has been very controversial.
Critics assailed its high price tag and the fact that it was a sole-sourced project.
Its installation was delayed several times, most recently when the city concluded in April that some of the welding done in Spain was sub-standard.
Cyclist Jeff Blair said the issues that have made the bridge controversial remain.
"I think it's a beautiful piece of architecture and I think $25 million for one bridge is a bit excessive. You'd probably build five other pedestrian bridges, so I'm a bit torn there."
The red tubular structure's original opening date was fall 2010. City officials now say it will be ready for use early in 2012.