Your chance to drive across the old Johnson Street ended at 7 am this morning!


Opened in 1924, the iconic Johnson Street Bridge is now officially a thing of the past.

Anyone wanting a last driving trip down memory lane had to roll across the blue bridge before 7 am Friday March 30.

Sifa Odosa worked till 11 pm Thursday evening, but she got herself and her two young children up early Friday morning to drive across the bridge three final times.

“Oh, very important, especially for my kids. They’ve been excited, you know, every time we pass by! ‘Do you see the new bridge? Do you see the new bridge? When are we going to be able to drive on the new bridge?’ I keep telling them ‘one day soon…one day.'”

Lee Tucker has lived in the city since he was a child, and as the last driver to cross the bridge, he’s now got a claim to fame.

“I saw the barriers up on the other side, and I was like, ‘Oh I’ve missed it!’  Luckily there was a guy standing there and he said ‘are you looking to go into town?’ and I said ‘well, yeah, if I could’ and he said ‘head on over, you’ll be the last guy across!'”

Both the new, and the old Johnson Street bridges will be closed to vehicle traffic until around 9 pm Saturday evening, but pedestrians and bicycles are welcome.

Mayor Lisa Helps is pleased to see so many coming out to walk the old bridge.

“The big celebration is going to be tomorrow” says Helps, “but we didn’t really anticipate that today would just be a day for people to wander through and walk right down the centre line. It’s kind of exciting!”

The closure kept the Bay Street Bridge busy, as traffic was rerouted.

The new bridge will open at noon Saturday, with an official ribbon cutting, opening remarks from Mayor Helps, and a procession across the new bridge.

Both bridges will then be open for various celebratory performances, as well as food trucks, for most of the afternoon.

Work on the new bridge is anticipated to continue for several months, which will mean periodic lane closures until late this summer.

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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