Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kiskatinaw Historic bridge

The Kiskatinaw curved bridge in British Columbia is a historic site on Old Alaska Highway. It is also one of the top sites to visit in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. The bridge is a curved wooden trestle that dates back to the building of the Alaska Highway in 1942. Construction on the curved Kiskatinaw bridge was completed in 1943.

According to Our Alaska Highway, the Kiskatinaw Bridge is the last of the old timber bridges that were built by the U.S. Public Roads Administration that is still being used today. The 584 ft. length bridge sports a 9 degree curve and was the first of its type to be built in Canada.

That the Kiskatinaw Bridge was ever built is a wonder in itself.
When construction began, there weren't any major towns in part of British Columbia.

Supplies to create the bridge, manpower and everything that the work crews needed had to be carried in for miles. The bridge had a 20 ton weight limit. Trucks that weighed more than that still had to forge the river.

After it was completed, the bridge served as a major part of the supply line along the Alaska Highway. Without the roadside sign, we might have missed this interesting piece of history.

Our drive was filled with interesting sites. We keenly felt that the road was a historic site all by itself. Seeing the bridge helped bring the point home.

This newer structure was built in 1978 and now takes the heavy weight loads across the Kitkatinaw River. When another traveler saw that we weren't in position for a good shot, he offered to climb on top of his rv to get it for us. It wasn't the first kindness to be extended to us on the trip, but it was probably the most scenic.

The friendliness of the other sojourners is one of the aspects that made our travels along the Alaska Highway memorable. We, in turn, passed the goodwill along the highway. That's just how the people roll in this part of the country.

We packed as much as we could into our visit, but I would have liked to spend more time in Dawson Creek. The town is Mile 0 on the highway. Staff at the visitor were eager to fill us in on the area. The center also had free internet that we used to Skype Hubby back home.

A walking trail goes around the town and there are a number of other historic sites to explore. Hopefully, I will get back there one day and explore some more.

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