Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. James Bridges (Century Street, Winnipeg)

Construction of a bridge spanning the Assiniboine River between St. James and Tuxedo, to replace an earlier structure at the site, started in the fall of 1935. Funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments, at a cost of $165,000, the bridge was built by Macaw and Macdonald (substructure), Dominion Bridge Company (superstructure), and Williams Engineering Company (grade approaches). Although originally expected to be completed in two months, the bridge finally opened to limited traffic on 21 August 1936.

By the 1960s, the bridge was handling over 21,400 vehicles per day. Streets Director D. I. MacDonald proposed a replacement bridge as the first step in development of a north-south corridor for the Greater Winnipeg area. Designed by the Metropolitan Planning Commission, the bridge was accepted in principle at a joint meeting of the Metro Streets and Planning Committees on 16 March 1961. It opened officially on 15 December 1962, standing above and adjacent to the older bridge. A commemorative plaque on the pedestrian walkway was unveiled by Premier Duff Roblin and Chairman of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg R. H. G. Bonnycastle.

The original St. James Bridge

The original St. James Bridge (circa 1935)
Source: Kenneth Macaw (via David Ennis)

The original St. James Bridge and Canadian National Railway Oak Point Bridge

The original St. James Bridge and Canadian National Railway Oak Point Bridge (August 1937) by L. B. Foote
Source: Archives of Manitoba, L. B. Foote fonds - #1341.

St. James Bridge commemorative plaque at right

St. James Bridge commemorative plaque at right (July 2015)
Source: Nathan Kramer

St. James Bridge

St. James Bridge (August 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.87662, W97.20224
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Manitoba Business: M and M Construction / Macaw and Macdonald

Manitoba Business: Dominion Bridge Company

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian National Railway Oak Point Bridge (Assiniboine River, Winnipeg)


“Bridge to be closing April 1 in St. James,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 January 1933, page 4.

“Traffic bridge for St. James is advocated,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 March 1935, page 2.

“Site chosen for Bridge in St. James,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 September 1935, page 5.

“To replace present St. James Bridge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 October 1935, page 7.

“Grading work on St. James Bridge awarded,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 October 1935, page 3.

“Work starts on new St. James Bridge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 October 1935, page 3.

“Alterations in bridge plans to cost city $15,000,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 November 1935, page 9.

“Tenders for bridge lights are opened,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 June 1936, page 4.

“Winnipeg Electric seeks half share of lighting for new St. James Bridge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 July 1936, page 5.

“Contractors resume work at new St. James Bridge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 July 1936, page 3.

“Indicate St. James’ new bridge will be opened in fortnight,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 August 1936, page 3.

“Postpone opening of St. James Bridge,” Winnipeg Free Press,17 August 1936, page 9.

“St. James Bridge is likely to be opened for traffic Thursday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 August 1936, page 1.

“New St. James Bridge is to be opened to traffic on Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 August 1936, page 4.

“Limited traffic over new St. James Bridge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 August 1936, page 1.

“City is facing heavy claims by home owners deprived of street facilities by bridge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 September 1936, page 1.

“St. James Aldermen leave door closed,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 1961, page 3.

“Province to let Metro try to fly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 1961, page 3.

“St. James deals blow to Metro,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 December 1960, page 3.

“Second St. James Bridge development unveiled by Metro,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 March 1961, page 3.

“Metro is bridging the gaps,” Winnipeg Free Press Saturday Section, 25 March 1961, page 21.

“Bridge or we’ll go: firm,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 December 1961, page 3.

“The Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 January 1963, page 55.

We thank David Ennis and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 17 July 2023

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