high river cp bridge flood

The old CP Railway bridge over the Highwood River in High River is being removed as part of efforts to improve flow during flooding. (Canadian Press )

A Canadian Pacific Railway bridge in High River will be removed to help prevent future flooding in the town, provincial officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The bridge created a pinch point for floodwater on the Highwood River, said Cam Hantiuk, who speaks for Tervita, the environmental services company hired by the province to handle flood remediation.

"Water just can't flow through there with the rate that it was coming during the flood,” he said.

The bridge, built in 1892 by the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, hasn’t carried rail traffic since 2010.

Work to dismantle it will start next month.

Over 600 metres of damaged rail track has already been removed as part of the remediation project.

Since mid-July, Tervita has also scraped about 22 Olympic-sized swimming pools of material from High River’s river system, the province said.

“The dismantling of the bridge in addition to the river scalping should nearly double the flowing capacity of the Highwood in the years ahead and help protect the town from flooding,” the province said in a release.