Stuck Cherry Street bridge spoils Martin Goodman Trail celebrations

The Cherry Street lift bridge has been stuck in an "up" position for days, marring celebrations over the long-awaited completion the Martin Goodman Trail. 

Various community groups met on Aug. 1 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the "missing link" of the trail, which spans 22 kilometres along the city's waterfront, from the western to eastern beaches, according to a City of Toronto news release. 

The new addition of the trail runs from the south side of Unwin Avenue in the Baselands area, stretching from Outer Harbour Marina Road to Leslie Street.

But the bridge, which is a key component needed for the trail to be fully operational, broke down on August 2 — one day after the opening celebration. 

"On [August 2], the Cherry Street bridge over the Keating Channel locked in a lifted position due to mechanical/electrical failure and remains in this position at present," said Eric Holmes, a spokesperson for the City of Toronto.

"Re-establishing road connectivity to the port lands is a top priority and teams at the City of Toronto and PortsToronto are working together to resolve this situation as soon as possible." 

Holmes says the city and PortsToronto are working on a plan to lower the bridge safely, and then start the repair work. 

Michael Charles Cole/CBC

'It's a complete inconvenience' 

Meanwhile, the electrical failure is causing delays for transit users, and is partially restricting vehicles from accessing the Port Lands. 

"City staff are working to support Ports Toronto where possible in getting the bridge out of the up position so that it can be made available to road users," the City of Toronto said in a tweet the day it broke down. 

Toronto resident Liam Dillon says the bridge is the "ideal route" for cyclists, traffic and trucks getting through the area. 

"It's a main artery, it's a complete inconvenience," he told CBC Toronto on Thursday. "But what can you do?" 

Dillon said the bridge malfunction has forced him to re-route to Commissioners Street, which he says is a "dangerous" street to cycle along. 

"Traffic, cars, potholes, speeding — it is quite dangerous." 

Submitted by Rudy Limeback