Souris Swinging Bridge

What would you name your city? Mousetown, Ratville, or Souris? French makes a lot of things sound better, n’est ce pas? E and I took a detour from Highway #1A near Brandon, Manitoba to head into Souris specifically to see this bridge.

Please suspend your disbelief.

Six hundred and four feet (184m) wide, it spans the Souris River (dur) and is Canada’s longest bridge! Well, pedestrian bridge. Well….pedestrian suspension bridge. And it might have been the oldest too, if not for a flood or whatever to have taken out its THREE predecessors. Heck, the town’s website (at time of writing) casually mentions the bridge was built in 1904 and you have to get to the third paragraph before they admit the current one is only the latest version. They even wrap up their denial-based history lesson saying the structure has been “bridging the river for 110 years, and still standing to do the same for the century ahead.” Still standing since way back in twenty-tickety-thirteen.

The (4th version of the) bridge that E and I saw was indeed completed in 2013. It was a partnership between the town and Stantec, which according to Wikipedia, is “an international professional services company in the design and consulting industry” whatever that means.

It means they know how to make this sort of doohickey.

Stantec’s project manager Kevin Amy had said “we’re proud to have played a role in giving this iconic structure back to [the community].” When pressed about the effects on his company’s reputation, he said “Look, we all know size matters” and gave a little wink before swaggering away. One of those quotations is true.

Besides being super convenient, the bridge is a big part of the town’s identity and it has magical powers. Did you know that once you “Trod the springy span to cross the river you have joined the fellowship of Souris citizens?” (thanks again Souris website). You too can become a Souris-ian! Souris-ianite?

I typed the word “bridge” eight times for this post. Let’s make it an even ten: bridge bridge.

Spanning rivers…and your heart.

But wait, there’s more! Here is an unexpected peacock that was hanging out out by the river downtown.