Red Bridge - Keremeos, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 12.241 W 119° 53.262
11U E 289663 N 5454150
Quick Description: This historic old bridge has been carrying traffic of one type or another over the Similkameen River for 107 years, as of 2014.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 8/31/2021 12:39:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM14WDD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
This 942 foot long covered timber truss bridge was originally known as Similkameen River Bridge No. 6. Built as a railroad bridge by the Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railroad in 1907, it is comprised of three separate spans and came into use in December of 1909. It became part of the historic Kettle Valley Railway, which was completed in this area in 1915.

In 1972, the Burlington Northern Railroad, then owner of the railway, abandoned the tracks, pulled them up and departed, leaving behind the last five of what were originally six bridges on the line which crossed the Similkameen. The bridge itself had been abandoned by the railway in 1954. This is the only one of the six which remains and is now a British Columbia Heritage Property. It is now the longest covered bridge in British Columbia. By all accounts it also appears to be the only covered highway bridge in BC.

Since repurposed as a traffic bridge in 1961, it now carries a single lane of Ashnola Road over the Similkameen.

The bridge was rehabilitated in 2005 by Ruskin Construction Ltd., receiving new steel framing and cladding, including bearings and painting.

Red Bridge
The bridge is known as Similkameen River Bridge No. 6 at mile 163.8 on the Great Northern Railway’s Cascade Division. It is 942 feet long. The bridge is called a “through timber trusspan” with three spans involved in this particular bridge. It was built by Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railroad (V.V. and E) in 1907, during the gold mining era. Train service began in December 1909. The railway put an end to horse drawn freight service and led to renewed prosperity at Hedley. The Kettle Valley line was completed between Penticton and Princeton in 1915 and through the Coquihalla to Hope in 1916.

The Red Bridge spans the Similkameen River and is an integral reminder of the bygone time when the V.V. and E. Railway ran up the valley. This line has been abandoned for many years. The Red Bridge is used as a highway bridge to the south side of the river and to the Ashnola. It serves as a passage to the world-renowned Cathedral Lakes Park.

Heritage Value
The Red Bridge is the last of three such structures which could be seen in the lower valley only a decade ago. The Red Bridge is one of the only bridges of this type in Western Canada. In greater Canada, the Red Bridge is one of the only covered bridges that remains standing and is still in use by public and industry. The Red Bridge is one of the last historic standing structures in the Similkameen.

Character-Defining Elements
The Red Bridge is unique in that its timber structure is enclosed with red painted board sheathing to protect the wood from the elements, and as a result protection from dryness and/or wetness and rotting.
From the RDOS Heritage Register

Red Bridge Red Bridge
Red Bridge Red Bridge

Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

Heritage Registry Page Number: Individual pages, not numbered

Ashnola Road at the Similkimeen River
Keremeos, BC
V0X 1N0

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