It was the span that brought together the villages that would form the city of Saskatoon more than a century ago.
Now, some are calling for the Traffic Bridge to be re-named to reflect a more modern joining of communities.
City councillors will look at a proposal Tuesday to change the name of the Traffic Bridge to the TRC Bridge, in recognition of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into residential schools.
The commission’s final report, released in December 2015, included dozens of calls to action for governments to undertake in order to repair the relationship with Indigenous people.
One of the calls to action was for governments to consider naming buildings, bridges and roadways to honour Indigenous heritage.
City council already voted to name the new North Commuter Bridge in accordance with the commission’s call to action. A special committee struck to come up with a list of potential names also got submissions calling for the Traffic Bridge to be re-named.
Officials from the city’s planning and development department opposed the change in a report submitted to council, pointing to the history behind the Traffic Bridge name.
The original bridge opened in 1907. It was built as a condition of getting what was then the Village of Nutana to agree to amalgamate in 1906 with the Town of Saskatoon and the Village of Riversdale to form a new city.
It was the first bridge across the South Saskatchewan River designed for people, rather than trains.
At the time it was built, it was the longest purely-traffic bridge in either of Alberta or Saskatchewan, according to a 2008 report submitted to the province by architectural historian Ross Herrington.
Funding for the bridge was approved in 1905 during the first-ever session of the legislature in the newly-created province of Saskatchewan.
Amédée Forget, first Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan, presided at the opening ceremony.
The bridge was only formally named the Traffic Bridge in 2007, it has also been referred to as the Victoria Bridge – due to its connection to Victoria Avenue – or the 19th Street Bridge.
The bridge was closed in 2010 after it was found to be structurally unsound following a century of continuous use. A new replacement bridge is due to open later this year.
The request to re-name the Traffic Bridge to the TRC Bridge will be debated Tuesday by the city’s Governance and Priorities Committee, which is made up of all city councillors and the mayor.