This month, our home city of Calgary experienced a “one in a thousand years” flood. Bridges have been in the news a LOT! Pretty much every road bridge across the Bow River was closed a week ago. Almost all of our road bridges have since re-opened. At the height of the flood, people were venturing out onto the lower deck of the Centre Street Bridge as the flood waters flowed over the bridge deck. They all had cameras or smartphones in hand, so I guess they were hoping to capture awesome photographs and/or videos. One of the train bridges across the Bow River failed on Thursday. Many footbridges were washed away or severely damaged during the flood. As a result, Calgary’s lauded bicycle and pedestrian pathway system is a series of disconnected bits. It will probably take years before everything is fully restored.
For those of you hoping to see some amazing photos of bridges under flood condition in this post, sorry to disappoint. As my husband likes to say, I’m “Miss Compliant” – so I diligently followed Mayor Nenshi’s request to stay home and avoid clogging up the roadways. Even yesterday, instructions were to continue to stay away from downtown Calgary. I’m thinking about doing a “before and after the big flood” series of blog posts in July, including at least one bridge, in which case I’ll include a link in my July 2013 post for this photo blogging challenge.
If you’re still with me, it’s past time I get to the substance of this month’s challenge – actual photos of bridges!
1. Gymnastics Bridge
Very occasionally, we all try our best to perform the bridge stretch as part of our warm-up for taekwondo class. So early this month I imposed on the goodwill of all my taekwondo classmates to line up and form human bridges for me to photograph. Although not quite up to the standard of Olympic gymnasts, I think they did a pretty good job!
2. Lego London Bridge
Three of the four GeoKs invested a fair bit of time over the February 2013 Family Day long weekend building the 1204 piece Lego London Bridge. It wasn’t a particularly complicated build, but did take quite a while because the set includes hundreds of beige 1×1 bricks, used to very good effect. All those tiny bricks provide a pretty good impression that the two towers of the 102 cm (40″) long, 45 cm (17″) high and 26 cm (10″) wide completed model look like they’re constructed of stone masonry. Set #10214 also includes 4 miniature vehicles, including a traditional red double-decker bus, visible in this photograph.
3. Golf Cart Bridge
This bridge over Three Sisters Creek was completed before the Three Sisters Mountain Village development project went bust, back in early 2009. It’s seen very little golf cart traffic, as the 18 hole course was not even close to being finished at the time. Although a nearby golf course maintained the few finished holes through 2011, in 2012 Mother Nature started to reclaim the fairways and greens. We’re not sure whether this bridge survived the June 2013 flooding, so we plan to walk over to check it out next time we’re in Canmore.
4. Mountain Bike Bridge
The Highline Trail above Canmore is very popular with the mountain biking community. Several hundred meters upstream from the golf cart bridge, the Highline Trail crosses Three Sisters Creek. This narrow mountain bike bridge is a replacement for a wider bridge that was washed away in the June 2012 flood. It was constructed using materials salvaged from old wooden pipes used to transport water from the small dam upstream on Three Sisters Creek to one of the small coal mining settlements in the early 20th century. Post-flood trail reports indicate that this replacement bridge was a victim of the June 2013 flooding, which means volunteers will be working to put bridge number 3 into place as soon as possible.
5. Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge over Glenmore Dam
Mr. GeoK and I did hop on our bikes the day after the peak flooding in Calgary. We rode about 35 km (22 miles), mostly on residential streets or pathways well back from the river banks. One of our stops was near the Glenmore Dam, which is topped by a pedestrian/bicycle bridge. The bridge was closed then and remains closed today, so this was about as close as we got.
Thanks to P.J. over at a ‘lilhoohaa for hosting this monthly photo blogging challenge. Click here to see P.J.’s perspective on Bridges and to access a list of other photo blogging posts for month four of the challenge.