Our High Level bridge

by Julie Deimert

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Zander watches a train cross from the vantage of Lethbridge’s Galt Museum

If you live in Lethbridge, you probably see this bridge almost every single day, whether you’re walking in the river bottom, driving downtown, commuting from the west side, or cycling along Scenic Drive. It’s a part of our landscape and hard to imagine the river valley without it. And while I’ve known that the High Level bridge is renowned as the largest of its kind in the world — I’ve rarely stopped to think about how it got here.

But thanks to Carolyn for posting Lethbridge Historical Society’s photos, I have a renewed appreciation for this bridge, the largest railway structure in Canada which was constructed between 1907 & 1909. What a feat of engineering!

First of all, kind of eerie almost to see the river valley without it:

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And check out these two machines: the ‘Travelling Erector’ and ‘Travelling Riveter’.

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Makes me wonder if the producers of the AMC production, Hell on Wheels, (shot in Alberta’s Bow Valley) — took some lessons from the experiences of this crew (below)? I’m sure they had some equally ‘riveting’ (haha) stories to tell!

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Much more recently, like just last week — our bridge was in the news again as CPR’s holiday train made the crossing.

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Our High Level bridge

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