Saskatoon

Traffic Bridge opens to vehicles this morning

The Chief Mistawasis Bridge is open for business.

Chief Chief Mistawasis Bridge opens for traffic

The Traffic Bridge opens today to foot traffic and to vehicles on Wednesday.

Saskatoon's two new bridges are officially open.

Opening ceremonies were held at both the Traffic Bridge and the Chief Mistawasis Bridge Tuesday.

A crowd gathers for the official opening of the Traffic Bridge on Tuesday. (CBC)

"People have been waiting so long to get back across this bridge again," said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark as he walked among the crowd on the Traffic Bridge. "To reconnect the two side of the river on the oldest crossing that we have for traffic is very exciting."

Christopher Ochuschayoo (right) and Connor Johnstone took part in the scared lance run that covered 120 kilometres from Mistawasis First Nation to Chief Mistawasis Bridge.

It is estimated more than 20,000 vehicles per day will use the Traffic Bridge within the first year of operation.

The Traffic Bridge opens to vehicles Wednesday while the Chief Mistawasis Bridge opens to traffic late Tuesday.

Bridget and Sophie enjoy the view from the Traffic Bridge. (CBC)

Festivities at Chief Mistawasis Bridge included a grand entry with local Indigenous leaders, dignitaries, elders, survivors and students and an opportunity for people to explore the bridge deck.

"The naming of Chief Mistawasis Bridge provides a lasting legacy of hope and reconciliation for the community and a source of great pride for our children and generations to come," says Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston, University of Saskatchewan School of Environment and Sustainability Indigenous Mentor and great-great-great grandson of Chief Mistawasis.

Shirley Isbister welcomes everyone to the homeland of the Metis.

Christopher Ochuschayoo and Connor Johnstone were part of a group of young people that took part in a 120 kilometre sacred lance run from the First Nation the bridge is named after to the bridge.

"We sacrificed our bodies not only for ourselves but for everybody in the community," says Christopher of their trek that was a healing journey to ensure the bridge is a symbol of peace, friendship and reconciliation.

"It is kind of like sending messages, sending prayers," Christopher says."We sent prayers for everybody while we were running."

The Chief Mistawasis Bridge along Saskatoon's new North Commuter Parkway opens today. (Graham Construction)

Saskatoon resident Cathy Baerg couldn't wait to come out and see the Chief Mistawasis Bridge Tuesday morning.

"I was really impressed that there is a lookout point and sidewalks that people can walk on," Baerg said. "We are going to have this fantastic view."

The two bridges and roadways cost about $250 million and were funded by three levels of government.

The speed limit on the Chief Mistawasis Bridge is 70 km/h.
Parking directions for Tuesday's Chief Mistawasis Bridge ceremonies.
An aerial view of the Traffic Bridge and the Broadway Bridge over the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

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