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Fredericton’s Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge finally reopens

Click to play video: 'Fredericton walking bridge finally reopens' Fredericton walking bridge finally reopens
WATCH: Fredericton's historic Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge reopened Saturday morning after an extensive renovation. Megan Yamoah reports. – Feb 1, 2020

One of the most iconic landmarks in Fredericton, N.B. recently got a facelift and reopened on Saturday with a good old-fashioned ribbon cutting.

The renovations to the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge were completed on-time and on-budget, according to the City of Fredericton, but it wasn’t cheap.

“It was $3.9-million split three ways between the city, the province and the federal government,” said Mike O’Brien, the Mayor of Fredericton, on Saturday.

“Then the province spent another $400 thousand on fixing up the piers down below.”

READ MORE: Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge re-opening after months of refurbishment work

For the folks that braved the brutally cold conditions for the ceremonial walk across the bridge, it was money well spent.

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“We live in the neighborhood and we use it a couple times a week and we’ve missed it and we are so happy it’s back open,” said Jill Hudson, a Fredericton resident.

The bridge has a new lookout feature that gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy views of the capital city while not obstructing traffic.

The City of Fredericton said the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge handles over 600,000 crossings annually.

The Fredericton Trails Coalition took credit for putting pressure on the government to refurbish the bridge.

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Renewed calls to erect barriers at Saint John’s Reversing Falls Bridge – Aug 28, 2019

They say usage of the trail system declined significantly after the bridge closed in September.

“When something gets taken away from you, you really appreciate it when you get it back,” said André Arseneault, president of the Fredericton Trails Coalition.

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