One More River to Cross

From the Article

Oh, there’s one more river
And that wide river is Jordan
One more river
There’s one more river to cross.

In 1907 the C.P.R. again spanned the Columbia, this time with a steel structure, which duplicated its neighbour’s deck and through-truss design. S.S. Revelstoke crossed under it as late as 1908, so it proved useful. The earlier wooden structure was removed after the realignment. Even before then, the C.P.R. dominated area transportation; its Arrowhead branchline and its lake steamships were serving the whole of the Arrow Lake (Columbia) system.

By now concrete was the preferred material for piers and abutments. This bridge was early among those utilizing this new-fangled product. The slow craft of the stonemason was in decline. This steel was in place until 1968, when I watched its replacement with a structure designed for even heavier trains.

When they reached Second Crossing in 1885, B&B gangs might have thought it as their last crossing; a River Jordan (indeed, a tributary just upstream is so named) for the national project, and the end of their labour. But depending how you count the changes, it has taken five bridges in the last 135 years to carry the C.P.R. over its ‘last bridge’. Each has served its purpose, and with gradually increasing lifespans. The current one will undoubtedly be the last most readers will photograph.

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