The arrival of fall heralds all kind of interesting happenings here in Edmonton. The magpies scatter just a little bit further (though not far enough, as those insufferable beasts seem to stick around the whole winter), the leaves turn just a little bit yellower, and in the year of our lord, 2010, fall mean we’re that much closer to the re-opening of the Dawson Bridge, the causeway that links Riverdale to Forest Heights — and downtown Edmonton to the eastern part of the city.
Last weekend, as I drove down Rowland Road, past the “bridge closed” signs and into Riverdale, as I drove to within sight of the almost completely revitalized Dawson Bridge, I saw two kids totally breaking the rules, and driving over the recently paved deck of the bridge.
Now before you blow a head gasket over the safety of these children, who were clearly in defiance of the “road closed” signage at the west side of the bridge, let me talk to your about the significance of the phrase “recently paved.”
According to my roommate, who owns part of a paving company, the paving of a bridge represents one of the last steps in the construction process. And given that the deadline for the Dawson Bridge to re-open is currently — as far as I know — the beginning of December, it could be that the bridge rehabilitation is ahead of schedule.
I wanted to know if that was indeed the case, so I asked the city — this time, I made sure to exclude any inquiries about robot construction. Communications Officer Laura McNabb (who also loves the Dawson bridge) responded:
” […] [W]ork is progressing well and the bridge deck was paved with asphalt on Saturday [September 25]. We still have quite a bit of residual work before the bridge is ready for vehicle/pedestrian traffic, but there is no doubt that we are being helped by the warmer temperatures. Although the progress of construction on the Dawson Bridge remains weather-dependent, we are currently on track to re-open for the end of November.”
Now for something equally exciting: I think we should plan an event — a bridge-crossing, if you will. When the Dawson Bridge re-opens, I’ll send out a general invite asking people to meet at the west side of the bridge, cross over to the
west east side, hike up the hill and make our way to the Hilltop Pub to celebrate access to east Edmonton again.
Just another worthwhile excuse to drink while celebrating civic infrastructure. I think that’s something we can all get behind.