Ominocity’s Farewell Letter to the Traffic Bridge

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Over a century old, venerable structure to be dismantled by the city

On October 4, 2012, the City of Saskatoon will begin the dismantling of the Traffic Bridge aka Victoria Bridge.

It’s not going to be an easy goodbye, unfortunately.

The Traffic Bridge has been closed to the public since August 2010, when the city deemed it structurally unsound. Barricades were placed on either side, while the trails under the iconic span were cordoned off to keep pedestrians from harm underneath – officials were apparently optimistic that the bridge would come down under its own volition prematurely.

No such luck.

Not that the flimsy barriers were successful. Romantics posing as vandals repeatedly struck, leaving a sprayed fresco of love letters on the pavement of the bridge. Personal favourites include “meth was made here,” “don’t cross you will die” and even a giant wiener with a mystery substance leaking from the tip.

Even in near death it was the best bridge in Saskatoon.

And even though the bridge was decrepit and closed to traffic – cruel irony considering its original name – it did make for an exceptional place to go have a quiet outdoorsy beer, a secret cigarette or a wet kiss on the cheek.

Even in near death it was the best bridge in Saskatoon.

saskatoongraffiti

But I prefer to remember it in its prime.

I remember hanging out on the walkway at night, staring towards the receding sun as it set over the Idylwyld Freeway.

I remember during one of my first teenage driving lessons my instructor opened the car door to demonstrate how much room I had between the vehicle and the bridge – I presume it was inches.

And I remember me and my degenerate friends consuming copious amounts of alcohol beneath the Victoria Bridge, taunting the wheezy tennis players in the neighbouring courts and catcalling passing joggers.

Not just good times. The best.

Farewell old friend. You will be missed.