Ottawa – Ottawa’s reputation as a walking- and cycling-friendly city got another boost today with the opening of the Airport Parkway Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge.

Mayor Jim Watson and River Ward City Councillor Maria McRae officially opened the bridge, calling it an important link between communities on both sides of the parkway and a means to promote safe and convenient cycle travel in the south end.

“Beyond adding to Ottawa’s cycling infrastructure, this new bridge creates an iconic gateway for those entering the nation’s capital from the airport,” said Mayor Watson. “Looking ahead to 2017, that role will be even more important as Ottawa becomes the place to celebrate the 150thanniversary of Canada’s Confederation.”

“This bridge will certainly make a grand and striking portal into the city,” said Councillor McRae, “but perhaps more important will be the value it brings to the local community. Residents will enjoy shorter commute times with a direct link to the South Keys transit station and the O-Train. They will have better access to nearby recreational space and retail areas, and the shops and businesses in adjoining neighbourhoods will benefit from the increased traffic.”

The new connection will also improve access to the Sawmill Creek Cycling and Pedestrian Pathway, which opened earlier this summer. New LED lighting along the bridge and pathway from Cahill Drive West and Plante Drive to the South Keys Transit Station will greatly enhance security and safety in the evenings.