Abbotsford’s new pedestrian and cycling link between its UDistrict and central core opened to the public Wednesday.
Hundreds of people – most on foot, but some also on bikes – crossed the bridge for the first time.
The city received more than $4 million from the provincial and federal governments to help build the bridge, two new traffic signals and and bike lanes along Salton that connect Marshall Road to the University of the Fraser Valley.
UFV president Joanne MacLean said the bridge will deliver a boost to the community feel of the neighbourhood surrounding the university and encourage more people to get out of their cars.
“It will act to unify our campus and adjacent communities and businesses – a key principle in the UFV district planning,” she said. “It also promotes more activities for active living.”
The bridge, Mayor Henry Braun, “provides a distinctive and useful link for residents, students and cyclists commuting from the UDistrict, a growing urban area with the Univeristy of the Fraser Valley at the centre.”
Braun also hailed the public art project created for the bridge by artist Brent Bukowski. Bukowski strung dozens of recycled aluminum bicycle wheels on each side of the bridge. While visible from the highway below, the wheels are significantly more impactful from the bridge itself.
“Inspired by a bicycle jump sequence, his work honours the bridge as a corridor of active transportation,” Braun said.