High Level Bridge (Edmonton)

High Level Bridge (Edmonton)

bridge_name=High Level Bridge

caption=Sourdough Raft Race, passing beneath the High Level Bridge's Great Divide waterfall with the LRT bridge in the background
carries=109th St. Southbound
crosses=North Saskatchewan River
locale=Canada municipality of Edmonton
design=Phillips B. Motley, CPR
mainspan=777 m (2,550 feet)
length=877 m (2,877 feet)
width=2 vehicular lanes, one-way
clearance below deck= above water
open=June 2, 1913
closed= N/A


The High Level Bridge, opened in 1913, spans the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Alberta. Located next to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, the bridge linked the then-separate communities of Edmonton and Strathcona. It was designed from the outset to accommodate rail, streetcar, automobile and pedestrian traffic. The Canadian Pacific Railway, responsible for the design of the bridge, ceased rail operations over the span in 1989. In summer months, members of the public can ride the High Level Streetcar over the top deck. The bridge was designated a Municipal Historic Resource in 1995 [ [http://hermis.cd.gov.ab.ca/ARHP/Details.aspx?DeptID=1&ObjectID=4664-0031 Alberta Register Historic Places - High Level Bridge] ] .

In 1980, the "Great Divide Waterfall," by artist Peter Lewis, was added to the structure. This man-made waterfall drops 45 metres (150 feet) from the top of the bridge into the North Saskatchewan below, and operates during holiday weekends in the summer months.It is the world's first man-made waterfall.

Extensive repairs and the addition and widening of pedestrian sidewalks were completed in 1994-95. The original lead paint on the bridge was carefully removed and over 100,000 litres of paint were used to recoat the girders.

Currently the upper level is the property of the Province of Alberta, so as to allow for the future high speed rail link transportation corridor to have access to downtown.

The Edmonton-area Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer uses a rivet hammer purportedly used in the bridge's construction as part of its ceremony.

High Level Bridge Street Car

Between the May Long weekend, and Thanksgiving Long weekend during the summer months, people can take a ride across the High Level bridge on a street car that was restored and operated by the Edmonton Radial Railway Society. The ride begins at Tracks just near Whyte Avenue and extends North over the High Level bridge to Government Centre, at which point it returns to its original starting point. During Summer festivals such as the Fringe, service is extended to accommodate the increase in crowds.


[http://www.rewedmonton.ca/content_view2?CONTENT_ID=1023 "Edmonton’s High Level Bridge" by Lawrence Herzog]

External links

* [http://www.edmonton-radial-railway.ab.ca/ Edmonton Radial Railway Society]

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