High Level Bridge celebrates 100 years
One of Edmonton’s oldest and most iconic landmarks is celebrating its centennial anniversary.
The High Level Bridge first opened 100 years ago today, originally designed to connect what were once the separate communities of Strathcona and Edmonton.
"That made the city of Edmonton — and especially once it was all amalgamated — really a destination people could get to," said Jason Day, the motorman who operates High Level Bridge streetcar.
It was also on June 2, 1913 that the first passenger train crossed the bridge. Vehicle and pedestrian traffic across the bridge came later, said Day.
In 1980, the Great Divide Waterfall — designed by Edmonton artist Peter Lewis — was added to the structure to commemorate the province’s 75th anniversary.
The waterfall was shut off in 2009 when the city realized the chlorinated water may be affecting water quality in the river.
In 2013, a new campaign allowing Edmontonians to purchase programmable LED lights for the bridge was launched.
"It's a structure that people think of when they think of Edmonton," said Light the Bridge spokesperson Tammy Pidner.
"When we look at this beautiful bridge — it's not fancy. It's black. It's strong. It's structural. It's held together with a bunch of rivets and iron. And that kind of is who we are. We're strong people too."
Pidner said she hopes to have all the bulbs sponsored by the end of the year.