02/16/2013 13:23 EST | Updated 04/18/2013 05:12 EDT

St. Jean community watches bridge demolition

People from the community of St. Jean Baptiste, Man., gathered to watch one of their bridges being blown up by explosives Saturday morning.

The bridge, which spans across the Red River, connects the east and west side of the community.

The structure has been closed since the fall of 2012 after an inspection found cracks in its piers and it was deemed unsafe.

The damage is believed to have been caused by movement of the riverbank.

Brent Manning lives on the east side of the river and said he used to get to the other side of town for his mail and other services.

He said the closure of the bridge has ripped the community in two.

"We've got two children going to school in St.Jean, and it takes them an extra hour a day, so five hours a week they have to ride the bus extra to get to and from school," said Manning.

Manning has formed a committee pushing for the bridge to be replaced, however, the province has not made a decision on the matter yet.

The community's Morris Bridge will also close later this year — for two months in the fall and for several months the following summer.

People that own businesses in St. Jean said they're worried of losing customers because without both bridges, they will have to travel triple the distance to deliver goods.

The community of St. Jean Baptiste is located about 80 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.