Westworld Saskatchewan

Winter 2014

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/407098

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Page 45 of 47

by the way 46 w e s t w o r l d | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 (top) darrell noakes, (inset) courtesy saskatchewan ministry of highways and infrastructure t he historic bridge that crosses the South Saskatchewan River at the village of St. Louis is closing after more than 100 years. Built as a train bridge for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTP) in 1912 and expanded with traffic wings in 1929, it ran with both locomotives and vehicles for some six decades. After the Canadian National Railway – it took over GTP in 1922 – abandoned the tracks in 1983, the St. Louis Bridge railway deck was overlaid with planks to create a wide lane down the middle. A traffic-only crossing into the 2000s, the span known for its five distinctive Parker steel trusses then began to show wear and tear, including corrosion from salt application over the years. Now there's a modern, high-speed traffic bridge down river, 1.6 kilometres east of the old one, opening (at press time) in late fall. ough there are no current plans to demolish the original, could its closing also mean the end of the famous St. Louis Ghost Light? e eerie glow manifests almost nightly along the abandoned rail bed north of town, appearing to draw closer to the observer before vanishing. Some argue it's an optical illusion caused by the diffraction of distant vehicle headlights, but the mystery prevails. W (above) The historic St. Louis Bridge; (left) the new high-speed traffic bridge – slated to open in late fall at press time. A Tale of Two Spans by Darrell Noakes

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