Big Eddy Bridge out of service… ’til November 30

Need to get to the Big Eddy? Well you won't be using the Big Eddy Bridge anytime soon. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

Need to get across the river? Well, you won’t be using the Big Eddy Bridge anytime soon. It’s closed until the end of November for rehabilitation.

Vic Van Isle Construction Ltd. has begun to remove and reinstate steel deck grating and steel wheel guards and replace floor beams, stringers and bearings on the 86-year-old span across the Columbia. The project will cost $351,826 by the time it is concluded on November 30.

The bridge, described by Art McClean, district operations manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, as a”tired old gal” that “has served us well” was built in 1924, as you can see by the rare set of photographs below that were made available to The Current by Stewart McCartney.

The five postcard-sized photos of the construction are dated from January 27, 1924 – March 5, 1924. “These photos are from my personal collection of Revelstoke0-related ephemera,” McCartney said.

As such they provide us a peek into our community’s past. Since that snowy winter the seven-span bridge has become a familiar road home for thousands of people on both banks of the river. While this rehabilitation work may squeeze a few more years out of the bridge, its days are numbered. McClean told Council last December that it will not last more than another 10 years.

Here’s that glimpse into the bridge’s deep past, courtesy of Stewart McCartney:

Today we call it the Big Eddy Bridge but back in 1924 it was known as the Columbia Bridge. Photo courtesy of Stewart McCartney
This rare series of photographic postcards shows the span we call the Big Eddy Bridge being built in the winter of 1924. Photo courtesy of Stewart McCartney
The bridge has weathered a lot of changes, including a name change. Photo courtesy of Stewart McCartney
But old age trumps everything and bridges are no exception. Photo courtesy of Stewart McCartney
The Big Eddy Bridge is currently undergoing some rehabilitation but the deck work will only stave off its demise for a few years. Eventually, the bridge will have to be replaced. Photo courtesy of Stewart McCartney