Ontario Construction News staff writer
The first of four Cherry Street Bridges, part of the $1.25 billion Ports Lands flood protection project, have arrived by barge from Nova Scotia.
Mayor John Tory visited the site last Saturday with federal and provincial officials to greet the new white-and-red structure that will become The Cherry Street North Bridge.
“It’s an iconic, beautiful bridge of which there will be four,” Tory said. “I’m just proud that we are here together to be taking this step.”
The 57-metre long bridge weighs 340 metric tonnes and travelled from Dartmouth, N.S. through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Lake Ontario before reaching Toronto.
Coun. Paula Fletcher, who represents Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth, said the bridge is something to celebrate because it signals the revitalization of the waterfront is underway, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) reported.
“This is truly an exciting day,” she said. “What a beautiful, beautiful bridge it is. If you are a bridge lover, then it is spectacular. It’s going to be transformational for our waterfront. What it really means is, this is real. Our waterfront transformation is real.”
She said the environmental assessment for the Ports land revitalization was completed 12 years ago. “Good things take a good, long time. This project, starting today, I think, it is a beacon to show what will be happening here on the Port Lands, as many have said, housing, infrastructure, parks,” Fletcher said.
PortsToronto says the journey took 8.5 days and 1,250-nautical miles and the barge passed through four Canadian provinces.
Waterfront Toronto said in a media advisory on Nov. 6 that the four bridges will connect people to Villiers Island, which will be created by a kilometre-long extension of the Don River through the Port Lands.
“When completed, 240 hectares of land will be removed from the Don River’s flood plain, and an area the size of the existing downtown core will become a new destination for people to live, work, relax, and enjoy stunning new green spaces,” Waterfront Toronto said in the notice.