At 831 feet (253m) long, Quesnel’s* Old Fraser River Bridge is apparently the longest wooden truss walking bridge in the world. That was the information the inebriated chap I met down on the river bank gave me … And then, as I was walking home, I came across a plaque on the east end of the bridge that seemed to confirm the information.
Construction began on the bridge in August 1928, and it was officially opened in March 1929. During World War II birch was harvested west of the river, trucked across the bridge and shipped by rail to make plywood for Mosquito bombers. But as the lumber industry around Quesnel grew through the 1950 and ’60s the bridge, which could only handle a single lane of traffic, became inadequate. Upon completion of its replacement downriver (the Moffatt Bridge) in 1971, the Old Fraser River Bridge was converted for pedestrian use (as well as for horses, cyclists and skateboarders).
In 2010 the bridge was restored and integrated into Quesnel’s Riverfront Trail system. Apart from the decking and trusses that were replaced, a modern low-power programmable lighting system was installed … Beautiful!
I shot all of these handheld, while fighting off buzzard-sized mosquitoes… You can read more about the old bridge here.
* Quesnel (kwəˈnɛl) is a small city in the Cariboo District of British Columbia, Canada – about 650km north of Vancouver.