Monday, May 5, 2008

The Bailey Bridge

Bridges Between

The Bailey Bridge which crosses the Ft. Nelson River
links Ft. Liard by Highway to the rest of the World.
This is truly a "Bridges Between" in Canada.

Into the Valley
(Don't forget to click on the photos for better looks)

Ft. Nelson River
Crossed by the Bailey Bridge

There was a nice turnout and picnic table on the north side where we stopped and rested and took photos and chased butterflies trying to identify them.

The Bailey Bridge which crosses the Ft. Nelson River, is the longest Acrow (Bailey) Bridge in the world. Relatively few people have ever seen this bridge due to its remote location.

Long Bridge over the Ft. Nelson River
Longest Bailey Bridge in the World

Fort Liard (Slavey language: Echaot'l Koe "people from the land of the giants") is a hamlet in the Dehcho Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is located 37 km (23 mi) north of the British Columbia border. It became accessible by road in 1984 with the completion of the Liard Highway (Northwest Territories Highway 7 and (British Columbia Highway 77).

Population is 583 according to the 2006 Census the majority of which are First Nations.

The community of Fort Liard is located near the junction of the South Nahanni and Liard Rivers at 61°02’N and 123°23’W, 142 air km southwest of Fort Simpson and 507 air km southwest of Yellowknife. The Liard river is a major tributary of the MacKenzie River, the longest drainage system in northwestern Canada.

Historically, the Nahanni Dene traded with posts at Fort Liard, Fort Nelson and even some trapping posts located around the pacific coast. The community was founded with a government-sponsored movement of people from nearby Netla River, situated approximately 24 km away.

Ft. Liard Sign
Shows Trapper in Canoe and Snowshoes,
the only way to travel before the Bridge

Fort Liard is in the Territories' southwest corner. Prior to 1807, the Northwest Company founded a post that was taken over by Hudson's Bay Co in 1821 when both companies merged. The opening of the Liard Highway in the early 1980s put the quiet village on the map. The community is characterized by lush growth and a relatively mild climate, despite its northern location. Hence it's nickname "the tropics of the north".

The steel truss panels on this particular bridge have been in use on various northern bridges since WWII. As other bridges were rebuilt or replaced, the salvageable panes were stored until needed for this bridge.

Will support large loads

Close view of side rail

Here is an excellent article on the Invention of the Bailey bridge. Click here.

The Hamlet of Fort Liard has two stores to choose from: The General Store and the The North West Company store. It has a school "Echo Dene School", with a student population of about 150 from K-12. It also has a nursing station, an Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment, and a Recreation Centre (complete with a swimming pool, skating rink, youth centre and a multi-court). There is a fuel center that sells gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, emergency survival kits and convenience items.

There is also a traditional craft store which sells locally made craft items. We purchased some nice baskets for our Native American Collection here at the craft store. At the General store we found some nice picnic supplies for our lunch on the banks of the Liard River. Lunch - loaf of fresh-baked bread, great canned beef, 2 wonderful cheeses, a great brand of pickles which we can't get here in Texas, and some great juice.

The bridge allowed us to visit a truly great place with historical significance (Hudson Bay Co.), not to mention the beautiful drive and wonderful lunch.

Bridges Between is a Monthly Endeavor by RuneE. Click here to participate.

Troy and Martha
Photos by Troy and Martha

BC Forest Capital Sign
Looks like the “Bridges Between” Logo



Anemone said...

Oh... No I have learnd a lot acout a bridge in Texas, a very beautiful bridge also...

Thank you for letting me know, and for this beautiful post.

Have a nice day.

RuneE said...

Bailey Bridges was a "new" concept to me - very interesting to learn about its connection with WWII and the Churchill tank! Even more interesting was the way this one was (re)used in Canada.


David said...

Wow, what great landscapes! These portray a great sense of perspective along with the natural beauty of the land. I'd really like to take a holiday out here!

Sorry I haven't been able to drop by more often, I've got assignments due for these few weeks so I'll be a bit inactive for a while.


David Webb - Nature Pictures

imac said...

Beautiful bridge and together with the info makes a great post.

The Texican said...

Nice travellog. I have only travelled briefly in that part of North America, but I would like to see more of it soon.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

What a cool trip! I've never been to the Northwest Territories except through pictures. I think I'd like it there!

Hyde DP said...

A fantastically interesting post - love the sky on that third photo of the long bridge - I followed a few of the links to some interesting articles too.

fishing guy said...

Troy: That was an enjoyable trip across the bridge.

Liv said...

Wow! you've taken us on a great trip, wonderful landscape, beautiful bridge! Great!

Anonymous said...

An entire new concept to me ... so you can imagine how I liked this post.
As for the photos, they are amazing as usual.
Liked the first one very much.

Stacey Huston said...

Stunning sky photo! very informative post! thanks for sharing.

Pernille's ting og tang said...

Now I learned something to day:)

Wonderful place and wonderful photos.

Have a nice day:)

ArneA said...

The first photo is absolutely wonderful. Can you estimate the distance from your lens to the horizon.
a beautiful landscape
thanks for letting me share your experience

Ida said...

Wonderful post!
Beautiful landscape and good information.
I visited Canada once. A beautiful country!


GundaM said...

Wow, now i have been in Texas, tanks for shearing;) Lovely nature and bridges;)

Landliv said...

Great photos - and a lot of new info for me in your text. Canada is in a way a land of my dreams, and I hope to explore it... maybe when my kids is a little bit older. Everything is so big over there... exciting - and different for us Norwegians ;-)

Anne-Berit said...

Great post,thank you!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Pretty photos and great information. Living here in BC, Canada all my life, it's a bridge that I had not familiarized myself with before so now I know. It's funny because my DH and I were just talking last night of planning to head out to Ft. Nelson this summer for a short time, if time allows, so that was neat to read that....

FANCY said...

I have always bean curious about it make me even moor.
Of course I will Add you to my list. My pleasure. :D

Daniel J Santos said...

Interesting and excellent images, very well done.

John said...

Wow, What a great bridge post Troy!
Very interesting post and a great compilation of bridge photos.

Marie said...

Great post, beautiful photos :)

Anonymous said...

excellent shots and very useful text. Thanks for your visit and kind comment. Your blog is also a great photo collection.

ANNA-LYS said...

Hello Bridge-builder,
Everything is large over there, and plenty of it also :-D Great shots!!!

Katney said...

That is a really unique bridge, and boy, you really DO get a long wa from Texas!