The City of Winnipeg was founded at the confluence (Forks) of two major Rivers, the Red and Assiniboine. As the City grew, two railroads, the C.P.R. and the C.N.R. were instrumental in its development. In order for the City to grow and prosper and to unite the communities located on opposite sides of the rivers, it was necessary to construct numerous structures (bridges) to cross the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
As the City continued to grow, additional structures were constructed to either go over (overpasses) or go under (underpasses) railroad tracks and/or roadways.
In addition, as the street network developed and expanded, numerous other structures (culverts) were constructed to allow many of the creeks (e.g. Bunn's Creek, Omand's Creek, Sturgeon Creek, etc.) within the City to flow under the newly constructed streets.
Since its incorporation on November 8, 1873, Winnipeg has continued to grow and expand. The inventory of structures has also continued to grow.
The responsibility of managing these structures for the citizens of the City lies with the Public Works Department and, specifically, the Engineering Division's Bridge Operations Branch. A staff of skilled and well trained engineers, technologists and field staff has the onerous task of ensuring the upkeep and safety of these structures.