Located near the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, the structure provides a crossing over the Red River and links the Forks, a national historic site, and St. Boniface, the city’s French Quarter. Gaboury Prefontaine Perry provided architectural design from concept to completion of the project. The dramatic pedestrian bridge is a 5-metre wide and 250-metre long people path. The bridge follows the alignment of the historic Broadway Bridge, which collapsed during a spring flood in the early 1900s.
Cable-stayed from a single, transversely inclined pylon rising 57 metres above the Red River, the bridge design reflects the lightweight nature of its pedestrian traffic, while the spire signifies a place of meeting in the middle of the Red River. The spire base has a restaurant and a large, multipurpose gathering plaza and commercial kiosks. The bridge opened in December, 2003 and was named the Esplanade Riel.