Day 69 – High Level Bridge   3 comments

The High Level Bridge was built between 1910 and 1913. It is just over 775m long and rises nearly 50m over the North Saskatchewan river. The bridge has two levels and originally served four modes of transport – trains and streetcars on the top deck and cars and pedestrians on the lower deck. Regular streetcars stopped using the bridge in 1951. The trains stopped running over the bridge in 1989.

A tourist streetcar continues to use the upper deck in the summer months. It’s an old-style streetcar, but not one from Edmonton’s history. It’s actually a W6-class tram (circa 1941) from Melbourne. Melbourne still operates a small number of these trams as part of their transit system, but most of these trams have been retired with several operating overseas. In 2011, Edmonton will be re-introducing one of its own restored streetcars from 1912.

The bridge cost more than $2M to build with the costs shared between the CPR, the cities of Edmonton and Strathcona, the provincial government and the federal government. At the time, it played a critical role in supporting the amalgamation of Edmonton and Strathcona.

A friend of mine recently passed on a story about her uncle who was in the air force in the 50s. He told her that to be allowed into the officer’s mess, members first had to prove themselves worthy by flying under the high level bridge.  Sounds like a fun right-of-passage.



3 responses to “Day 69 – High Level Bridge

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  1. Really like the composition.

  2. You are really mastering the light balance here Mike. Nice shot!

  3. That’s an amazing story and great photo. Love the colors.

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