I have several rail history books showing this bridge (some showing trains), and its wooden predecessor, during the years between 1885 and 1909, when the bridge was made redundant by the completion of the Spiral Tunnels route.
An example is found on page 59 of Robert D. Turner's book West of the Great Divide.
By coincidence, I stopped my reading tonight of Turner's book at Page 59 and noticed that picture and wondered if that was the same bridge.
Thanks for confirming that. Sir, this type of exchange on this forum is why I enjoy participating here. I appreciate the common-interests and the common appreciation & enjoyment of history & travel.
Post by Low Light Mike on Aug 20, 2008 22:09:34 GMT -8
In 2 instances tonight, member "Wet Coast Kid" has posted news/public photographs of the same locations as I had taken photographs just a few weeks ago.
It sounds silly, but I get a real kick out of comparing my photographs to the news/public-archive photos and seeing the exact same placement of the mountain peaks in the background and other landmarks.
The 2 examples are the Big-hill bridge on this thread, and the Mount MacDonald CPR tunnel portal (in the Railway photos thread).
Maybe the awe is just because I'm in awe that I was actually at those historic and fascinating locations, in person. The wonder of travel......
Post by Low Light Mike on Sept 1, 2008 15:53:09 GMT -8
re covered railway bridges:
On BC's Highway 3, somewhere between Princeton and Keremeos, I remember seeing a covered railway bridge (no longer in use) over the Similkameen River.
I remember this from our frequent family vacation trips as a kid, on that highway in the 1970's and early 1980's.
Does anyone remember that bridge? It was clearly visible from Highway 3 as you drive by.
I am curious about what railway that bridge was part of (likely something with the words "Great" and/or "Northern" in it).
Does anyone have know any history of that bridge?
Thanks for any info. ================
I found it on Google Earth. It's just west of Keremeos, on the river. Coordinates are: - 49 12 14 25 north - 119 53 17 65 west.
It's called the "Ashnola River Road bridge". It's a red-covered bridge. It's now used as a 1-lane traffic bridge, but I'm pretty sure that it was originally built for a railway.
Here's a quote I found:
Historic Red Bridge The Ashnola River and the Cathedral Park exit is located on Hwy 3, west of Keremeos by a few minutes at the historic Red Bridge. A railway company - the Victoria, Vancouver & Eastern Railroad - built the bridge in 1907 to help service the various gold mines in the area. Now British Columbia's largest covered bridge, the Red Bridge takes you over to the south side of the Similkameen River.
It's called the "Ashnola River Road bridge". It's a red-covered bridge. It's now used as a 1-lane traffic bridge, but I'm pretty sure that it was originally built for a railway.
So I'm still interested in info on that bridge's history; or just to know that I'm not the only one who remembers that bridge.
I think I know which bridge you're talking about. Just west of Keremeos and part of the Great Northern's Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railway as was quoted. I don't know much about the history of the bridge, but if I recall correctly it was part of the VV&E line from the Kootenays to the west coast. GN removed the rails in the 1950's after the mine in Hedley(sp?) closed. GN kept running to Keremeos from the USA until the early 1980's(as the Burlington Northern). Though I'm not sure when the bridge was converted for road use.
The only part of the VV&E still in use is the line out of the USA to Grand Forks, and the line from Hope to Port Mann(sold many years ago to the Canadian National Railway).
Flugel, I've seen that bridge several times, so I remember it as well... it was actually one of a whole family of similar bridges, but the others have all fallen victim to various fates.
Once, on a trip out to Grand Forks, I made sure that we took a few minutes to drive across the old bridge (I was driving, so there was no real argument). An another trip, we happened to stop at a restaurant in Keremeos where they were selling mugs commemorating its restoration, so I made sure to buy one. But I really wanted to be able to walk the bridge and get some photos from the inside. They say you can never fully experience a bridge until you've walked across it.
It still has a wooden deck in it's new life as a road bridge, but the original wood sheathing has been replaced by metal cladding. It's still red, though, and it is always referred to as The Red Bridge. It's internal structure is very similar to many of the old wood Howe truss bridges that used to exist as both road and rail bridges throughout B.C., and it might not be a truly covered bridge, as there is no real roof on it, aside from the open truss members... it is only the sides of the bridge that are enclosed.
Fluge, that bridge was indeed once part of Jim Hill's 'Third Mainline' route to the coast. There were several of this type of bridge on the line between Oroville, Wash., and Princeton, BC. I would recommend two books - McCulloch's Wonder by Barrie Sandford, and Railway Mileposts: British Columbia Volume II by Roger Burrows.
According to the latter book there is (or was?) a BC 'Stop of Interest' sign at the bridge you refer to. It looks like this:
scanned from: 126 Stops of Interest in Beautiful British Columbia by David E. McGill
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2017 15:15:24 GMT -8 by WettCoast
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - This year marks a sad anniversary for those who remember the collapse of the unfinished Second Narrows Bridge.
A new book is out on what caused the structure to collapse 50 years ago, killing 18 iron workers.
Vancouver author Eric Jamieson says he reads newspaper articles about the event each year and felt the whole story wasn't being told.
That's why he's released the book called "Tragedy at Second Narrows."
"They're not wrong those stories, believe me, they're not wrong, they just don't tell the whole story. I interviewed over 50 people for this book and I got some of the men who fell off the bridge, I got their real life story. It's actually kind of interesting that one of them read the book, and said 'I learned a lot about the bridge.'"
You can pick up a copy of Jamieson's book now in local stores.
Hmmmm... why does it seem i am always posting right after myself?
Never mind that... We are all going to die!!
I mean, Gordon Campbell and Kevin Falcon are going to give as a new bridge whether we like it or not, and we will all die from being crushed under the weight of it!
O.k.... if I didn't think neither of them knows about transportation before, I think I know it now. Break down and hire a few consultants guys. I know they are stuck with a road system designed for the sixties, but they are going about giving us a repeat of the same problem we have now, only worse in the years to come. Namely: a single arterial route through the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver. They are still trying to cram all that traffic into ONE corridor.
It doesn't matter if it is ten lanes wide: it is how people have been led to perceive as a fast and easy route to get where they want to go. For that very reason it will attract even more traffic like a magnet... the bigger the capacity: the bigger the drawing effect and the more backed up the bridge will be. They will all get on the freeway en masse reasonably expecting that it will function like a freeway and get them to their destination, but they all still have a choice of only ONE freeway style artery, so it will not be enough. The traffic flow needs to be distributed between several separate freeway class arteries so that one doesn't get overtaxed, and we only have ONE.
And... in our supposed energy conscious age, when GC and friends want to be leaders in 'going green' why on earth does it not even have the design capability to support light rail rapid transit in addition to rapid bus. Rapid or not, busses still cannot leave the roads, so what happens when the rapid bus needs to leave the freeway and gets stuck in a mess in Surrey? I have a lot of trouble understanding how rapid bus will work with some many intersections and so much traffic already. Best do a study on some of the well known cities that have gotten it right by using dedicated rail transit on independent rights of way that are not hampered by bottlenecks like bridges, or traffic jams.
Anyway... here's the news story. I for one, quite like that old orange tied arch over the Fraser which is a darn site more interesting and graceful to look at than another cable stayed bridge... they are so absolutely boring because everyone builds them these days, and they are sooooooo many of them. Come on Gordo, give us a landmark at least, like a nice big suspension bridge, or a nice, new tied arch bridge. If China can build one, can't we? If you like that nice old orange and free arch, enjoy it while you can, because it is about to be cut down in the prime of its youth at the behest of some megalomaniac.
METRO VANCOUVER — The provincial government has scrapped its plan to twin the Port Mann Bridge in favour of building a new 10-lane crossing over the Fraser River, at a cost of $3.3 billion.
Premier Gordon Campbell said the new bridge, which will be built to accommodate rapid bus service, expanded cycling and pedestrian lanes and a possible light rail line, will ease congestion clogging the crossing and commuter delays by about one-third.
The project design calls for two lanes each way to be reserved for local commuters heading south of the Fraser or to the Tri-Cities, as about 40 per cent of the bridge’s traffic never goes past Surrey or Coquitlam, Campbell said.
Public transit users using the new bridge are expected to be able to get from Langley to a SkyTrain station in Burnaby in 23 minutes.
But those driving will have to pay for it. Set to open in 2013, the new bridge will be financed primarily by tolls, which will start at $3 each way for all commuters, with concessions for truckers, bus and taxi drivers and van-poolers to encourage public transit.
The tolls, to be in place for 40 years, will rise with inflation but will be capped at 2.5 per cent annually, government officials said.
“Currently in B.C. we lose about $1.5 billion in our economy every year to congestion,” Campbell said. “A single span will clear up the bottlenecks that have been plaguing commuters for years and years.”
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said the government’s private partners — consortium Connect BC Development Group, a group that features Australian-based Macquarie Group — believed it would be cheaper and save on maintenance costs to build a new bridge.
“They didn’t want to be pouring money into aging infrastructure,” Falcon said, adding that in 40 years the existing Port Mann Bridge will be older than the Pattullo Bridge is now. “There will be savings over time.”
The 37-kilometre project includes widening Highway 1, adding two lanes each way on the east side of the bridge and an extra lane in both directions on the west side. The capital cost of the project is about $2.46 billion, but the total cost, including operating and maintenance, is expected to be $3.3 billion.
Of that, the province is financing $1.15 billion in the form of a repayable loan, which is being matched by bank financing. Its private partner is putting forward its own equity for the remaining $1 billion.
The government came to the rescue of its private partners with the loan last month after Macquarie, an international toll-road operator and investor, encountered financing difficulty as a result of the global credit crisis.
Falcon said construction of the new bridge is a historic event for Metro Vancouver, which is expected to add a million residents in the next 20 years, most of them south of the Fraser.
He noted commuters and truck drivers now have to spend hours in traffic on the bridge, which was built in 1964 and is one of the most important routes for goods traffic to and from Metro Vancouver ports and businesses.
Paul Landry, president and CEO of the B.C. Trucking Association, said trucks can be delayed up to an hour on the Port Mann. He supported the idea of toll discounts for trucks to encourage them to operate out of peak hours and keep traffic flowing more smoothly.
Right now, “It’s terrible,” he said. “It’s very tough and it’s not only the delays and the cost of the delays but the uncertainty. If you’re trying to run on any schedule you have to arrange to leave early. If there’s any kind of an incident on either side of the bridge or on the bridge, things grind to a halt.”
He said the additional lanes on the highway to the bridge will make a huge difference in cutting the congestion, as will the tolls since they will push commuters to use transit more.
TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said that due to congestion, no buses now use the bridge. When the new bridge is built, buses will be able to use it for the first time in 20 years.
Hardie added that rapid bus lanes on the bridge could be converted to light rail in the future.
Park-and-ride lots will be added in the Fraser Valley and there will be access lanes for buses on and off the freeway from 216th street in Langley to Lougheed Town Centre.
The project, which will create 8,000 jobs, ties in to provincial and TransLink plans to boost rapid transit and build the Golden Ears and Pitt River bridges and the South Fraser Perimeter Road.
Campbell said the province has to create a Pacific Gateway, noting that by 2020, anticipated trade from Asia could bring in $76 billion for B.C. and $230 billion for Canada.
B.C. Chamber of Commerce president John Winter said the new bridge — along with the other infrastructure — will make it easier to live and work in the Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and south of the Fraser.
“That’s where the economic growth is going to be,” Winter said. “It’s absolutely imperative that this bridge — and the other bridges — connecting with the ports are improved.
“If we’re investing all this money in [Deltaport], this is all tied together and inextricably linked to progress.”
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said it makes more sense to build a new bridge than hold up the old one until it has to be rebuilt in 40 years.
“What do you do with a twinned bridge in 40 years when you have to tear one down and build a replacement for it?” Stewart asked.
Cecil Damery, president and business agent of Ironworkers Local 97, said the impact of the recent Pattullo Bridge fire and repair underscored the need for a new bridge as a useful backup in case of emergencies.
He said the plan is financially sound, since it would cost more to maintain and fix the old bridge.
Damery added he was confident the project will be a boon for his industry.
“For every construction job, six other jobs are created. It’s a trickle-down effect,” he said.
Jack Davidson, president of the BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, said the project shows the government is looking toward the future rather than just short-term.
The province will have to get environmental assessment approval to build the new bridge, but expects that can be fast-tracked, since most of the work was already done for the twinning of the bridge, Transportation Ministry spokesman Dave Crebo said.
Crebo said the new bridge is expected to have less impact on the environment because it will be a single span. The old bridge won’t be demolished until the new one is completed.
NDP MLA Bruce Ralston criticized the government for re-negotiating a deal with its private partners, since other bidders who applied to twin the bridge wouldn’t have had the same opportunity.
He said the government eight months ago said it would cost $1.6 million to twin the bridge and is now quoting $2.5 billion for the new plan.
“The minister and premier say this is a way to save costs,” he said. “Table the contract, open it up. How’s it going to escalate over time? We were led to believe they were twinning the bridge. It seems this was negotiated after the contract was awarded.”
I thought for a bit about Mr. Fluge's musings on bridges and I thought about 'Hagwilget'. I asked my wife and she too said 'Hagwilget'. This is somewhat like the Alexandria Bridge in the Fraser Canyon (mentioned above). The Hagwilget bridge is, however, one of the highest suspension bridges in Canada, with its bridge deck almost 90 metres above the canyon waters of the Bulkley River near Hazelton, BC. It was built in 1930 and is the third bridge on the site.
On page 1 of this thread we discussed the old Alexandra Bridge located in the Fraser Canyon near Spuzzum, BC. Here is a photo of both the old and current (Trans Canada Highway) Alexandra bridges. This is scanned from a Kodachrome slide taken on 28 June 1980.
The photo was taken from the dome car on Via Rail's east bound Canadian, which was running north on CP trackage on the west side (true right bank) of the river.
Note that these are the 2nd & 3rd Alexandra bridges. The original, built in the 1860's, was part of Governor James Douglas's Cariboo Wagon Road, built to improve access to the up river gold rush country.
To me, there should be more to a bridge than flat, featureless concrete towers and steel beams. There is no real design element there. IF they had to use concrete, imagine if they had used a design like the Ganter Bridge in Switzerland: en.structurae.de/photos/index.cfm?JS=49631
Another good little Howe truss is across the Coquihalla River in Hope. This bridge is both historic and somewhat famous, because it was used in the filming of a Rambo movie. This bridge is also currently scheduled for replacement very, very soon, although there has been some talk about preserving it somehow because of its history.
For some strange reason, the Ministry of Highways wants to replace the narrow two lane structure with a new, wider three lane structure. Why three lanes? You got me... seems they can't count even numbers these days when building bridges: example, the unusual five lane bridge now spanning Okanagan Lake.
and as far as the Lillooet bridges go, there's another Howe Truss at the Seton dam complex (crosses the canal). There's the old suspension bridge which was built in the early 1900's but is now pedestrian only. The replacement for it is the Bridge of the 23 Camels opened in the late 1980s. Was able to cross that old Lillooet Bridge when driving my Dad around on his business trips.
It was a rickety thing and at the time I think limited to just 2 tons at a time.
There also is/was another wooden bridge in Lillooet heading north out town. Where the road crosses the Bridge River, it uses a deck howe truss (where the actual truss structure is beneath the road deck). I hopefully plan to get back up there sometime this summer to take pictures of it. It does have a very dramatic location, and if you follow the road, it becomes the infamous highway to Gold Bridge. Last time I was at this bridge it was high summer and there seemed to be quite a convention of what I assumed to be local ranchers at one end of the bridge in very large low four dour cars that Doug would be proud of (the just needed steers horns mounted on their hoods), sporting clothing right off the country music channel.