The Orange Bridge

The other day Da daughter and I where driving into town.
At the orange bridge we noticed a date was on the bridge.B.O.B. Nelson, BCNelson BC
So we stopped to take a picture.
Then I realized I wanted to post about the Orange Bridge.
Bridge in Nelson
The bridge connects the North Shore to Nelson and is the way to Kootenay ferry to Creston. A lot of people use the ferry in the winter because the Pass is hard to drive. The local call it BOB., for Big Orange Bridge.
Orange Bridge 50 Years old
The story started November in 1957.
The new West Arm bridge at Nelson was opened Thursday, (Nov.7,) as a beaming Premier Bennett cut a broad green ribbon in front of toll gates at the southern approach. Hundreds of people stood on the sidelines in the frost-tinged sunshine to watch the ceremonies. The premier, three of his Cabinet ministers, city Council members, private cars ancient and new crawled across the span, led by brightly tartaned pipers and drummers of the Kootenay Kiltie Band.

Highways minister P.A. Gaglardi, who conducted ceremonies from the official platform adjacent to the gates, called the bridge “an imposing and important structure”. He said,

“The government, without promises and fanfare has recognized the importance of this part of the country by building this bridge.”

Main speaker Premier W.A.C. Bennett said,

“This is a happy and great day for Nelson… for the whole province … for your MLA (Hon. W.D. Black, provincial secretary) who is ill and for Mr. Gaglardi our amazing highways minister.”

He then received a pair of scissors from long-time (44 years) cable ferry operator, George Clerihew, and said

“I take great pleasure as Premier in cutting this ribbon and declaring this bridge open.”

Of the building of the bridge he said, ”

People at first said it couldn’t be done, but we’ve shown it can, even if it costs a bit. Nobody wants toll bridges, but there’s one thing we hate more, and that’s no bridge.”

He then promised that $100,000 a year would go onto the bridge account, combined with the toll revenue to make the bridge free as soon as possible.

Prominent on the opening scene were representatives of the firms involved in design, engineering and construction of the bridge, and local officials. Many district people came out for Nelson’s event of the year. Canon W.J. Silverwood dedicated the bridge

” In the spirit of thanksgiving to the peace and glory of all mankind,”

and Mayor Joseph Kary expressed citizens’ pride in their new $4,000,000 bridge. Even before the cavalcade moved across the span, pedestrians swarmed over the bridge, Vehicles, some of them held up by the hour-long proceeding, others waiting to be among the first to cross, lined Nelson Avenue and intersecting streets for blocks.
Tolls were removed on March 31, 1963
Story told by Shawn Lamb
and the City of Nelson BC


~ by The Mum on May 6, 2007.

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