Friday, March 16, 2012

Saying Goodbye To A Piece of History

I knew this day was coming once the new bridge opened up late last year but the news still comes as a shock. Alas, I turn on the laptop this evening and learn, courtesy of Fort McMurray Musings, that the unique green metal bridge is no more. Theresa's blog also includes a short video of the final section of the bridge coming down on March 5th. The bridge, which I believe will continue to carry southbound traffic, is being lowered to provide commuters with improved access to Mac Island and the downtown, and unfortunately the old bridge just wasn't designed for the new purpose.

I love these old bridges and its a sham but I suppose that is the price of progress. There are similar bridges not that far from here that I've seen with the same structure and design, one about an hour south of the city on the Christina River off of Highway 881 and another upstream on the Clearwater across the border in Saskatchewan. (Part of this particular bridge came from a another bridge in Saskatoon if I'm not mistaken, but I digress.) The Grant McEwan Bridge reminds me in some ways of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, home of my alma mater and both structures were even the same green-blue color....after they re-painted the Ambassador Bridge in the 1990's from that ghastly black, that is.

So, a short "in memoriam" so to speak, in photographic form. My earliest photos of this local icon were taken back in 2002 and lie in photo albums in Ontario but below are some more recent photos. The first three were taken from Abasand on the east side of the Athabasca last June and the last photo is a peek of the bridge from last Spring.

The new bridge is scheduled to open sometime next year. And while I'm sure traffic flow will improve with this new infrastructure, I know part of me will still feel as if things just quite aren't the same.

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