There is a small parking lot on the highway that is part of
the Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park so we parked here. The sign points us to a path in
the right direction that also says it is a ten minute walk. That is how long it takes if you don’t look
around and just keep on walking down and down!
It felt longer than ten minutes.
There is so much history about the Fraser Canyon Highway
region. Slowly, as time goes on, the old
sights and buildings are disappearing.
We are losing those reminders of the history here. But if we look, we may find.
I’ve wanted to be sure we got to see the old Alexandra
Bridge before it was taken down or destroyed somehow. So the plan was finally made that we would go
see the bridge.
|Keith and Maggie lead the way|
The original highway is part of the trail taking us down
and for those who have been before and know where they are going, they were
able to drive and park down the hill a ways.
Then there are the railway tracks.
Look both ways before crossing.
|Old Fraser Highway|
The original Alexandra Bridge, named after Princess
Alexandra of Wales, was built to be part of the Cariboo Wagon Trail that went
from Yale to Barkerville, BC to link the coastal and interior regions and serve
the traffic during the Gold Rush days. It was built in 1861 but was destroyed
by flooding of the Fraser River in 1894 and that bridge was never rebuilt.
I was so excited to see the bridge that I didn’t look down
to realize that it was a grid platform and I could see the river down below. I
was part way across when I looked down and saw moving water! DIZZY !! It took a minute to move again, but
I was determined so would keep my head up and get to the other side. I needed a few reminders to face the fear and
get the photos! lol
|See through grid|
This Alexandra Bridge is a suspension bridge and was the
second bridge built to cross over the Fraser River. It was built by Joseph
Trutch in 1926 and considered a very important engineering feat with suspension
bridge technology. It was used until the
newest one, which is the one we now use to cross the river, was completed in
|Grand bridge towers|
|Spans 563 metres (1848')|
The old Cariboo Wagon Road leaves a lot of old trails that
can be used as walking trails today, more so once you get to the Yale side of
the bridge. We are now just east of
Spuzzum, which has a history but with nothing but a few homes in the area, Yale
is the town further west that would have the maps to show the trails and the
stories of the history to share in their museum.
This bridge still feels very safe and did not look that it
would be willing to cave into the raging river, which the Fraser River can be
at this time of year, especially. This
location was chosen because it is a narrow gorge and therefore the best choice
for a bridge.
|Alexandra Bridge on TCHwy|
Now it is time to return back to the truck and this hill is
much steeper going up than it was coming down.
I would recommend allowing yourself several more minutes than ten for
the return!! lol There is a spot to view the
river part way up, it makes a good resting area, if need be.
|View from the Alexandra Bridge|
This is one of the last remaining buildings that sits at
the side of the highway as a reminder of some of the history and it is the
Alexandra Lodge. It was an important
roadhouse and part of the Cariboo Wagon Road and would have fascinating
stories. It was lodging for the workers
of the Alexandra Bridge during its’ construction and a lodge for travellers
passing through for many years after.
The Fraser Canyon is part of the TransCanada Highway but
does not get the traffic it once had before the Coquihalla Highway opened in
1986. As a result of that there are many
small businesses that have closed down which has created a change of scenery
for many locations along this canyon highway.
It also makes for an easy drive
that allows you to enjoy the views this beautiful Canyon has to offer. I am so happy that we got to see the Alexandra
Bridge and am able to share photos with those of you who do not have that opportunity,
we’ve saved you the walk!