On June 2, 2024 at 2:00 pm, the community of Virden will come together to dedicate the 7th Avenue North bridge in honour of Constable Dennis A. Onofrey, Regimental No. 32104.

Through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, critical repairs to the 7th Avenue North Bridge were completed with a contribution of up to $950,000 from the Government of Canada and up to $528,000 from the Province of Manitoba.

The bridge re-opened to welcome traffic in the Fall of 2023. Constable Onofrey was tragically shot and killed on January 23, 1978, at the age of 27 when on duty in Virden, MB while investigating a suspected stolen motor vehicle.

A Bridge Dedication Ceremony will take place on June 2, 2024 at 2:00 pm.

The refurbished 7th Avenue North bridge will be dedicated to Constable Onofrey and recognizes the sacrifice made to maintain public safety. “Strategic investments in transportation infrastructure help improve local roads and ensure communities remain connected,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

“The dedication of the 7th Avenue Bridge will symbolize public safety for locals traveling across their community for years to come. We will continue to invest in meaningful projects like this one while building resilient communities to provide opportunities for future growth.” “We are very grateful for the effort and commitment made by the Town of Virden to dedicate their local bridge in acknowledgement of Constable Onofrey’s sacrifice,” says Sergeant Major Bettina Schaible, “D” Division RCMP, Office of the Commanding Officer. “The tribute is very meaningful to Constable Onofrey’s family and friends, along with his work colleagues, past and present”.

The Bridge Dedication Ceremony will be held in front of the 7th Avenue North bridge at the intersection of King Street and 7th Avenue. Public members of the community are invited to join Town of Virden representatives and other delegates in a time remembrance.

Prior to the Dedication Ceremony, public attendees are encouraged to visit virden.ca for additional access and parking information. Seating will only be available for confirmed delegates and public attendees are encouraged to bring seating if required.

“We are very thankful to the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba for their contributions to this project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program funding, as it assisted with making the bridge repairs possible,” says Tina Williams, Mayor of Virden. “The 7th Avenue North bridge provides Virden residents with an increased ability to easily travel through the Town and provides access to and from our main downtown business district”.

In the weeks following the Bridge Dedication Ceremony, the dedication will become permanent with the installation of a specialized street sign, bronze plaque and nearby seating area.

Local Virden residents or visitors to the community can access the space by foot to sit, ponder and have their own moment of remembrance. At the site of the Bridge Dedication Ceremony, a designated media area will be available.