British Columbia

'Engineering marvel' damaged in pickup truck crash north of Dawson Creek

The Kiskatinaw Bridge, built during WW II, has been damaged after a pickup truck crashed into it early Monday morning.

The bridge was constructed as part of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War

It took engineers nine months to construct the Kiskatinaw Bridge. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

A historically significant bridge has been damaged after a pickup truck crashed into it early Monday morning.

RCMP say the truck slid off the road approximately 30 kilometres north of Dawson Creek, hitting the side of the Kiskatinaw Bridge and damaging several support beams.

The bridge was constructed as part of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War.

U.S. officials, fearing a Japanese invasion of Alaska, sent soldiers to connect the state with the rest of the country via a highway through Canada.

A Canadian engineering firm had to be contracted in order to cross the Kiskatinaw River.

The bridge is closed indefinitely as engineers assess the extent of the damage. (Sarah Griffith, Caribou Roads)

Due to the sharp bend of the river, builders had to bank the curve in the wooden bridge nine degrees to conform with the highway.

According to B.C. Parks, "Construction of this engineering marvel took nine months to complete. It was the first curved wooden bridge built in Canada and today, few like it remain."

But the claim has been questioned by others who point out that the Kettle Valley Railway in the Okanagan and the E&N Railway on Vancouver Island were both built with curved trestles several decades earlier.

Today, the bridge is part of Kiskatinaw Provincial Park and is promoted as a tourist attraction for travelers along the Alaska Highway, which is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The bridge is closed following Monday's crash and engineers are assessing the damage.

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