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Walkable History | High Level Bridge

17 million pounds of steel, 1.4 million rivets & 5000 gallons of paint

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17 million pounds of steel stretch across the North Saskatchewan River as The High Level Bridge

Construction on the massive structure started back in 1910. The project by the Canadian Pacific Railway got money from the city ($286,000), the province ($175,000) and the federal government ($125,000).

The steel is from Ontario where it was fabricated at the Canadian Bridge Company plant and hauled by train to Alberta. The steel is fastened together with close to 1.5 million rivets and covered with 5000 gallons of black paint.

The teams working on the build were led by the very same firm who made two other Alberta CPR railway bridges, one in Lethbridge and one over the Pembina River near Entwistle. More than 500 men worked on the bridge, four of who died during the dangerous project.

The High Level Bridge was completed in May 1913.

The very first train to cross the bridge was the No. 33. It made the journey on June 2, 1913 carrying 200 passengers in seven cars traveling from the south side of the river in Strathcona over to Edmonton on the north side.

Written By Sarah Hoyles

Sarah is a highly motivated, organized and creative writer, communicator and journalist. She is experienced in creating content that thrives in traditional and new media settings. Sarah is curious about the world and wants to share what she learns in an accessible, timely, informative and entertaining manner.


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