Alberta Highways - Elbow River, Calgary

Elbow River bridges, Calgary

I visited the Calgary Stampede on June 4, 2013, and crossed this pedestrian pony truss known locally as the "blue bridge." See, it's grey, but there's some blue paint on the top of each rail. "Grey bridge" doesn't sound as interesting. It doesn't seem to have any official name, and it was constructed out of pieces of other bridges dating to the early 1900s. Anyway, I crossed this unnamed bridge of composite age on June 4. On June 20, flood waters started rising through the Stampede grounds, up to a metre over the blue bridge's deck. By the morning of June 21, this bridge had been carried upstream and wrapped around the pier of the next bridge it found. Considering that the bridge is gated unless the Stampede is happening (in July), I may well have been the last person to visit the blue bridge before its untimely demise. At least it was replaced with a steel arch bridge instead of a boring concrete span, and considerably higher to prevent floods from washing over it. But it's not blue anymore.

Crossing east to the gated end of the bridge.

Looking south at the Elbow River Bridge, built between the 2008 and 2009 Stampedes.

Back west from whence I came.

The next bridge north survived the flood. The 1911 MacDonald Bridge carries MacDonald Ave. over the Elbow River. I'm about to head east over it.

and there, I've done it. I also showed you how both bridges and light poles are inventoried around here. Remember 3208.

Looking back west at the MacDonald.

The last bridge before the Elbow River meets the Bow River (I wonder how intentional that was) is the Inglewood or 9th Avenue Bridge, which, well, connects 9th Ave. SE to Inglewood. It was built in 1909 but sadly was replaced in 2019. I'm about to head west out of Inglewood across it. (I checked, and the Bow River was named for the reeds used by First Nations people to make bows, while the Elbow River was named for the bend it takes right at the Stampede grounds. Not a match.)

Remember the number before? This is one higher, and it's one bridge higher on the Elbow River. I bet the blue bridge was 3207. (I checked, and it was 3212, while the new one is 3214. 3207 is the railroad bridge farther upstream. Not a match.)

Let's finish that westbound drive across.

From the west side, you can see why it was called the Inglewood Bridge.

If you're worried about hitting the truss on the Inglewood Bridge, or for that matter if you have claustrophobia, don't take the last EB exit before it. 7th St. SE barely makes it under the railway.

Over to the Bow River bridges
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