Brilliant Suspension Bridge Observation Tower- Castlegar, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 19.055 W 117° 37.812
11U E 454199 N 5462951
Quick Description: This tower was built in the fall of 2012 to allow safe observation of this National Historic Site. This bridge was built by hand by the Doukhobors of Brilliant, BC, in 1913.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 4/6/2013 12:29:25 AM
Waymark Code: WMGRTP
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member harleydavidsonandy
Views: 5

Long Description:
The Brilliant Suspension Bridge attracts more and more visitors every year, especially after its attainment of National Historic Site status.

The tower affords tourists an excellent view of the bridge otherwise unobtainable without subjecting one to the perils of a steep and rocky slope which falls down to a deep and fast running river.

This was the first auto bridge built across the Kootenay River in the Castlegar area. Its purpose was to connect the village of Brilliant with its agricultural properties on the other side of the river and to other communities at Dolina Ootischenia. It fell into disuse with the completion of the adjacent arch bridge in 1966.

Restored, redecked, rejuvenated and reopened in 2010, the bridge now is the focal point of the park surrounding it and is part of a walking trail passing through the park.


The bridge consisted of two paired concrete towers supporting massive steel cables from which was suspended a structural steel wood-surfaced deck. The bridge design and supervision of construction was undertaken by a Vancouver firm while the bridge itself was built entirely by Doukhobor work crews using traditional hand-tools and techniques. Construction was completed in a remarkable period of only seven months at a cost of $60,000 dollars, approximately 2/3 of which was financed by the Doukhobors and 1/3 by the provincial government. It served the local traffic needs of the Doukhobor CCUB and later the USCC community as well as other local and regional residents, for over 50 years until it was finally closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the late 1960's.

Replaced and overshadowed by a modern highway bridge, the Brilliant Suspension Bridge has been derelict since then, but it now is destined to play a part in the future development of the local cultural landscape, with its recent restoration and preservation as a Doukhobor heritage symbol as well as for its role as a functional component of a wider community recreational plan. Thanks to the diligent work of the Restoration Committee, the help of the Historical Services Branch of the BC Government and the support of the local regional district and municipal governments, the Brilliant Suspension Bridge has finally received status as a Canadian National Heritage Site.
Height of Look-Out Tower in feet: 10.00


Opening times and fees:
Open 24/7 No fees

Parking Area: N 49° 19.063 W 117° 37.854

Visit Instructions:
Please log only if you have been up there and you must include a photo of the scenic view from the top.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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wildernessmama visited Brilliant Suspension Bridge Observation Tower- Castlegar, BC 7/8/2017 wildernessmama visited it