Back in the 1960s, Winnipeg, like cities all over the continent, started planning for a massive network of freeways, ceding much of the city to the car. Those plans were eventually derailed by community action, but not before some components of the network was built.
The Disraeli Bridge was constructed in 1958-59 as a way out of the downtown core into East Kildonan, cutting through a neighbourhood called Point Douglas. It was named after Disraeli Street, a Point Douglas street, which had taken its name from Benjamin Disraeli, a British prime minister back in the 1800s. The bridge was later incorporated into the Disraeli Expressway, which was a portion of the city’s proposed freeway infrastructure. But when the freeway plan was killed off, all the city was left with was a bridge and an overpass.
Now there’s a petition demanding that the name of the roadway be changed to something more local and meaningful. How about naming the bridge after one of the city’s most famous bands? Welcome to the campaign to turn this into the Bachman-Turner Overpass. [Insert “Roll On Down the Highway” joke here.]
Sign the petition here.