Staff with the City of Kenora are working to install the brand-new Coney Island Footbridge, but some temporary revisions will need to be made.
City Council, in their first meeting since their inaugural swearing-in ceremonies on Tuesday, approved the installation of temporary construction railings and lights for at least the start of the winter season.
Installation on the bridge began on Monday. The city says the new main floating platform, aluminum ramps and steel cables are ready to be installed, but temporary railings and lights are needed until the permanent fixtures are completed in late December.
Chief Administrative Officer, Kyle Attanasio, notes the city thought installing the bridge without any railings would have been much too dangerous for residents as well as city crews, who are tasked with snow clearing on the structure.
Other options included not installing the footbridge at all this winter or delaying the opening of the bridge until at least 2023 – which the city opted against.
The footbridge is being replaced after the original was damaged beyond repair in May, due to the high water levels on Lake of the Woods. An engineering study in June found the bridge’s repair work would have been too costly, as opposed to buying a new structure.
The City of Kenora says the new footbridge is superior to the previous bridge, with improved width, lighting and durability. Installation is expected to wrap up today. It cost the city about $225,000.
The bridge connects Kenora to Coney Island each winter. It’s about 300 feet in length and is removed each year in April or May. It’s been around since the 1960s.