ROSENORT - As Rosenort residents celebrated their annual summer festival outside the local arena, about two dozen others were marking another milestone just a short walk up the community trail. The Rosenort Trail committee celebrated the grand opening of a new pedestrian bridge, marking the completion of a $150,000 river trail expansion.
Called the "centrepiece" of the three kilometre recreation trail, the steel beam pedestrian bridge is located over the Morris River. It includes a viewing area at the centre with solar powered lights along the railing for use and decoration at night. The bridge can be seen from the Hwy. 205 bridge.
Trail chairman Merv Dueck explained the final bridge brings the whole project together. "This bridge now ties in downtown Rosenort, the flood obelisk that was unveiled last summer, the park area on the east side of the river, to the Rosenort Community Centre and the trail along the west river bank," he said. "The west bank portion of the trail has also been upgraded with new bridges and more trail development."
After an intense couple of years planning and implementing the construction of the trail, Dueck said they'll take a break, before planning more changes. "We've got it to a point where it's very usable," he said.
R.M. of Morris reeve Ralph Groening praised organizers and volunteers, saying there has never been a lack of hard work and ingenuity in Rosenort. "We see development happening," he said. "We're really pleased to play a supportive role."
"It's just a great project," he added, "Congratulations."
Morris MLA Mavis Taillieu also congratulated the trail planners, saying the quality of life can be a big draw for new residents. She also included a jab at the NDP government despite a provincial Hometown Manitoba grant. "I'd like to be named in the list of donators, but maybe that will change after the next election," she said.
Funding for the project did come partially from the federal government ($50,000 through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program), as well as from Rosenort Credit Union, a Home Town Manitoba grant, the Andrew Siemens Memorial Fund, the R.M. of Morris and many other contributors.
Trail coordinator Darren Plett thanked members of the community for their support, saying the project had brought the community together in more than a physical way. He said people of all walks of life have come together for a common goal.
"It has been a joy to work (on) this project," he said.