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CMU expands to span Grant Avenue

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The new pedestrian bridge over Grant Avenue should keep students at 
Canadian Mennonite University safe and warm.

AMANDA THORSTEINSSON Enlarge Image

The new pedestrian bridge over Grant Avenue should keep students at Canadian Mennonite University safe and warm. Photo Store

The ongoing traffic disruption at the corner of Grant Avenue and Shaftesbury Boulevard might be frustrating, but hang tight —it’s almost over, and your commute will soon return to normal.

That’s according to Kevin Kilbrei, a spokesperson for Canadian Mennonite University, the institution behind the construction. The university is expanding and has needed to block part of the road over the winter.

The big arch beginning to loom over Grant Avenue is a large pedestrian bridge that will link CMU’s two campuses, which are on either side of Grant.

It’s something CMU students who cross back and forth multiple times a day see as necessary.

Stephanie Crampton graduated from CMU last week with a music degree in vocal performance.

She didn’t run across Grant Avenue very often but she is concerned for the wellbeing of classmates.

"Sometimes people don’t make the best decisions about jaywalking especially when they’re in a hurry," she says.

"The construction is a bit annoying, and having to go around the long way into the building is annoying, too, but the safety factor is important," she adds.

The look of the community will change in other ways, as well.

A new cafe — possibly serving up gelati — will soon be open to the public, as well as a pond, a patio, and a new library.

And it’s all happening fairly quickly.

"The entire project’s ETA for completion is the end of October," Kilbrei says. "Some construction time was lost during the harsh winter, but traffic should be back to normal in mid-June."

Crampton’s just glad future generations of CMU students will have it slightly warmer than she’s had it.

To date, the university has raised $12.5 million of the $14.1 million needed to complete the project.

Amanda Thorsteinsson is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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