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Thread: Edmonton's historic rail bridges

  1. #1
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    Default Edmonton's historic rail bridges

    Take a ride on Edmonton's historic rail bridges

    It has survived floodwaters and served commuters for over a century, as the city transformed from a rough pioneer town to booming metropolis.

    Of the all bridges that now cross the North Saskatchewan River, the Low Level Bridge was the first.

    Completed in 1900, the span of steel, originally known as the Edmonton Bridge, began as a critical link for early residents of Edmonton.

    The role of the bridge has changed constantly over the decades. The sturdy structure was adapted countless times to meet the city's ever changing transportation needs.

    A railway line was added to the bridge in 1902. Streetcars used the bridge from 1908 to 1939 when they were replaced by trolley buses, which were eventually eclipsed by vehicle and pedestrian traffic.




    Even though High Level Bridge is the younger of Edmonton's twin rail bridges, it is the real gem of Edmonton's riverfront, Babuk said.

    The massive steel truss bridge sits more than 55 metres above the North Saskatchewan River and is more than 775 metres long.

    Babuk said the iconic bridge is an engineering marvel.

    "I think, among the bridges that were built at this point in history, this ranks as one of the great ones.

    "We should be proud of it."

    Before the backbreaking — and dangerous — construction work was completed in May 1913, local commuters relied mostly on ferries to travel between Edmonton and Old Strathcona, he said.

    It was designed by the Canadian Pacific Railway to accommodate rail, streetcar, automobile and pedestrian traffic and remains remarkably unchanged.

    While trains no longer run across the bridge, a seasonal streetcar still runs along the tracks and hundreds of vehicles travel across it every day.

    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Interesting stuff, thank you.

    Am I the only one who thinks the High Level Bridge is actually quite ugly?

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    Shouldn't the federal government by paying for the rebuild of the high level bridge? Isn't that what they do?

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    Why? It was originally built by a private company, the CPR.

    it was donated to the COE. it is no longer a railway bridge and is not part of federal infrastructure.

    If your parents gave you your first car and 12 years later is it proper to demand a new one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Interesting stuff, thank you.

    Am I the only one who thinks the High Level Bridge is actually quite ugly?
    It’s probably about due for replacement so at that point they’ll rip it out and recycle it.

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    Some fact checking about the Lethbridge Viaduct referenced in the video (also locally called down there the High Level Bridge). Mr Babuk says the Lethbridge Viaduct "may be this high" whereas the Lethbridge Viaduct is actually 95.7 m high--almost twice as high as the Edmonton one (55 m). Also, at 1,624 m long the Lethbridge Viaduct is more than twice as long as Edmonton's (777 m) (source, source).


    Source: https://lostbutlovingit.blogspot.com...-and-back.html

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    How's the Low Level, structurally? All the talk seems to be about the impending doom of the HLB, yet nary a peep about the LLB.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

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    ^^I agree. But there is a difference. The HLB had streetcar and rail tracks plus a road and pedestrian access.

    There are huge numbers of railway only bridges that are larger than the HLB.

    If you want to see an impressive multipurpose bridge, try driving the Oakland Bay Bridge.

    it opened on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and interurban streetcars on the lower, but after the Key System abandoned rail service, the lower deck was converted to all-road traffic as well.
    . Reconstruction of the eastern section of the bridge as a causeway connected to a self-anchored suspension bridge began in 2002; the new eastern section opened September 2, 2013, at a reported cost of over $6.5 billion, a 2,500% cost overrun from the original estimate of $250M. Unlike the western section and the original eastern section of the bridge, the new eastern section is a single deck with the eastbound and westbound lanes on each side making it the world's widest bridge, according to Guinness World Records, as of 2014. Demolition of the old east span is expected to be completed by the end of 2017
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Fr...and_Bay_Bridge
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    Quote Originally Posted by howie View Post
    How's the Low Level, structurally? All the talk seems to be about the impending doom of the HLB, yet nary a peep about the LLB.
    Edmonton’s bridges are doing fine. Although, they could be better.https://edmontonjournal.com/news/loc...or-improvement
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Interesting stuff, thank you.

    Am I the only one who thinks the High Level Bridge is actually quite ugly?
    It’s probably about due for replacement so at that point they’ll rip it out and recycle it.
    Based on what? Looks as opposed to fact? Until it's actually deemed to be in requirement of replacement,not a dime ought be spent to do so.
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Interesting stuff, thank you.

    Am I the only one who thinks the High Level Bridge is actually quite ugly?
    What makes it ugly?
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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    Saskatoon seems to understand how to replace a bridge....https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saska...2018-1.4078587
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Interesting stuff, thank you.

    Am I the only one who thinks the High Level Bridge is actually quite ugly?
    It’s probably about due for replacement so at that point they’ll rip it out and recycle it.
    Replace it with? Here's what Saskatoon has done...https://www.aisc.org/globalassets/ns...---johnson.pdf
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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    If Cliff Clavin had his way, the High Level would be demolished. Thankfully, only a few people agree with such a brazen act of utter stupidity.

    As for the Low Level, the SB should have been refurbished already. Why they couldn't do so the year after the NB renovation, I have no clue.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  15. #15

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    Don't forget the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway... which built the Low-Level Bridge as well as several trestles in the Mill Creek ravine. These trestles have been recently restored by the City. Link

  16. #16

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    Lovely to see that those Mill Creek trestles were restored, as trestles. When I was a kid they were still trestles, not long out of service, and one of experiences that you wouldn't tell your Mom about, with ties and tracks. A train used to run to it until the mid-1960s or so, coming from the west across 99 Street at 70-something avenue, down what is now a multi-use trail. We did the usual penny-on-the-track thing, but the 97 St. crossing was excellent for turning pop bottles into a spray of rainbows when it was sunny. A friend and I were once "horned-at" as we walked along the tracks, completely oblivious to the train lumbering its way behind us.

    Across the river, above the path above the Victoria Golf course, around about the 13th hole, were the remnants of the old YPR path, at least into the 1980s.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Lovely to see that those Mill Creek trestles were restored, as trestles. When I was a kid they were still trestles, not long out of service, and one of experiences that you wouldn't tell your Mom about, with ties and tracks. A train used to run to it until the mid-1960s or so, coming from the west across 99 Street at 70-something avenue, down what is now a multi-use trail. We did the usual penny-on-the-track thing, but the 97 St. crossing was excellent for turning pop bottles into a spray of rainbows when it was sunny. A friend and I were once "horned-at" as we walked along the tracks, completely oblivious to the train lumbering its way behind us.

    Across the river, above the path above the Victoria Golf course, around about the 13th hole, were the remnants of the old YPR path, at least into the 1980s.
    1 trestle was completely demoed and rebuilt. The smallest of the 4.2 of the 3 larger structures were widened and reconstructed with truss structures over the creek where the vertical supports once sat in the water. An absolutely terrific job well done. They fit into the ravine nicely and and though not original, look very authentic,
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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