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Much-anticipated pedestrian bridge over Rideau River opens after lengthy delays

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The Rideau River pedestrian and cycling bridge finally opened to the public on Saturday morning.

Cyclists and runners had their chance to conveniently cross between Carleton University and Vincent Massey Park on the other side, where an official ribbon-cutting inaugurated the new route.

"It's been a long wait, a lot of people have been waiting patiently," said Neil Saravanamutto, a cyclist said at Saturday's ribbon-cutting.

The massive one-piece steel structure was originally installed in July 2022, and expected an opening four months later. The bridge and its installation was part of the Line 2 north-south LRT proposal, which kept the footbridge closed until the train got the green light to open.

"It will give more options to people," said Florence Lehmann, the president of Bike Ottawa. "Students don’t always live on campus.".

Councillor Shawn Menard said the bridge also opens new housing options for students.

"They can walk right across where before, you'd have to go all the way over to Bank Street," Menard said.

"In this case, it's a safe connection for people. So we're very excited and I think it'll be nice just for recreation purposes as well."

During the spring, contractors removed fencing from around the bridge, causing some residents to believe it was open. Several people walked and cycled across it and posted about the bridge on social media before the fences went back up, as the city said it was not yet ready.

There's still no opening date for the Trillium Line, but officials have hinted it likely won't be ready until mid-August.

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