Work has begun to replace an iconic pedestrian bridge downtown.

On Saturday crews started demolishing the pedestrian bridge linking the Eaton Centre and the Hudson's Bay Company building on either side of Queen Street.

The 40-year-old pedestrian bridge is being removed to make way for a new bridge that is being built off-site and will be lifted into place in the fall.

“With the number of upgrades that have been done at the Saks-Hudson’s Bay Centre, they thought it was time to do something with the bridge as well,” Matt Stainton, senior construction manager at PCL told CTV News Toronto.

The new bridge, being assembled on nearby James Street so as to minimize the impact on traffic, will be built of steel and double curved glass.

“It’s architecturally a real masterpiece. The old bridge was probably a little bit tired and fairly plain and simple,” Stainton said.

Some 2 million people use the foot bridge annually.

The design and planning for the bridge replacement has taken well over a year.

A stretch of Queen Street West is closed to vehicular traffic this weekend as crews remove the old bridge.

The closure between Yonge Street and Bay Street went into effect at 11 p.m. on Friday and is expected to remain in effect until 5 a.m. on Monday.

Pedestrians will still have access to the sidewalks during the closure, however the city says there will be “periodic stoppages” during crane hoisting work.

There will be another closure of Queen Street in July so that the new bridge can be hoisted into place.

The new bridge is expected to open in the fall.