Three men have been charged with arson in a fire that badly damaged a historic trestle bridge northeast of Edmonton in June.  

RCMP say the Beaver River Trestle Bridge was set on fire June 22 after a car was ignited at the base of the bridge.

si-bridge-fire

Police believe the bridge caught fire when a car was ignited at its base. (RCMP)

"We are extremely grateful to the public who gave us tremendous assistance," said Const. Dan Kehler. "We couldn't have gotten to the point of laying charges without them."

The help came from eyewitnesses who were at the bridge with the suspects at the time of the fire, he said.

Built in the 1930s, the bridge is part of a rail line that was converted into the Iron Horse Trail between Fort Saskatchewan and Cold Lake.

The bridge spans 450 metres across the Beaver River.

The Iron Horse Trail is pursuing estimates for rebuilding the bridge which may cost up to $2 million, said Marianne Price, administrative coordinator.

"It's a relief," she said of the arrests. "It's nice they've been identified and will face the consequences of their actions."

The three men, aged 18, 20, and 22, each face one count of arson. They are scheduled to appear in Cold Lake Provincial Court on Thursday.