The High Level Bridge, Lethbridge, Looking West, October 1999
British, Canadian, 1942
gelatin silver print
75 x 82.5 cm; image: 45.5 x 55.5 cm
Gift of the artist, Toronto, 2003
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (no. 2003.90)
© Geoffrey James
Crossing the steep banks of the Oldman River, the High Level Bridge remains one of the longest bridges of its kind – 1.6 kilometres from end to end. The decision by the Canadian Pacific Railway to build the bridge between 1908 and 1909 converted Lethbridge from a small coal town to the area’s marketing hub. The viaduct was designed to meet CPR steel-trestle bridge specifications of 1905, with the base of the towers constructed to keep the maximum uplift caused by the extreme winds of southern Alberta within reasonable limits. The bridge continues to be used by the railway today.