Canada

Plaza Bridge officially reopens

Ottawa's Plaza Bridge was officially opened Monday. It's taken two years and $25 million to renovate completely.

The huge bridge links the National War Memorial the National Arts Centre , the Bytown Museum and the Rideau Canal. It also architecturally links Ottawa to its past.

The Plaza Bridge once again looks as it did in 1912 when it was known as Sappers' Bridge.

Monday's official opening had plenty of fanfare. Hundreds of the area's well-known figures were in attendance. Regional Chair Bob Chiarelli and Marcel Beaudry of the NCC shared the platform after arriving in vintage car.

Because of its huge open skylight that allows access to the canal, the bridge promises to be a major tourist attraction says Beaudry.

"Before too long there will be activities down there, concerts, functions, [and] a restaurant," says the NCC Chair. "And we're looking forward to doing something with the private sector."

The new bridge is already drawing raves.

Australian Reinier Jessurun thinks "it's marvellous the way it fits in with other buildings around the place."

Ottawa resident David Jeanes says, "It really opens up the west side of the canal for tourists coming up Elgin and from the Arts Centre and Chateau."

The only concern at the ceremonies Monday was the threat of vandalism and graffiti.

"What you have to do is create respect for this place," says Dave Marett of the region. "It's really an extension of the War Memorial, and everyone should respect it on that basis."

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