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Author Topic: Photos of NT's Deh Cho Bridge, and the crossings it replaced  (Read 2995 times)

oscar

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Photos of NT's Deh Cho Bridge, and the crossings it replaced
« on: August 10, 2015, 12:24:34 AM »

Last month, I did a day trip to the Deh Cho Bridge, carrying NT 3 over the Mackenzie River, from my "base camp" in High Level in northern Alberta. I had not previously driven the bridge, though I did take photos of the bridge under construction, and got a close look from the parallel ferry crossing, in 2012 just a few months before the bridge opened.

I had planned a similar day trip last year from Yellowknife during a weekend stay there in the middle of my Nunavut "road trip", but wildfires north of the bridge frustrated that plan. This time, while there were wildfires in northern Alberta, they did not threaten closure of AB 35 to the Alberta/Northwest Territories border while I was up there, so I was able to make what turned into an interesting and enjoyable trip.



^ The bridge, from the old ferry landing on the south shore of the Mackenzie River.



^ The tollgate awaiting the truck shown on the bridge above, on the other side of the river. Tolls are imposed only on commercial vehicles over 4.5 fonnes, and only northbound, but they are hefty (ranging from C$77 to almost C$400, depending on number of axles and how payment is made). Collection is by monthly billing, for regular bridge users with transponders in their vehicles, or by advance-payment one-time passes for infrequent users. The tollgate has nobody there to collect cash tolls (I guess toll collectors don't like biting black flies any more than I do), but the gantry has cameras where they can remotely monitor traffic and videotape licence plates, etc. as needed. 



^ Part of the side railing on the bridge, which I photographed on the move through an open side window (no stopping, or pedestrian traffic, allowed on the bridge).



^ This access road to the old ferry landing on the river's north shore is open, but there's nothing at the landing.



^ There is also an access road on the other side of the bridge, to the old ferry landing there. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Merv Hardie ferry vessel (which I took across the river in 2012) drydocked there. As I understand it, the old ferry vessel is kept there so it can be quickly put back into service, in case the bridge has to be closed, or as an emergency replacement for one of the four other ferry vessels still serving crossings on NT 1 and NT 8 downriver.



^ A closeup of one end of the Merv Hardie, indicating it was built at an inland port in Edmonton, Alberta. I haven't figured out how the vessel got to the Mackenzie River from Edmonton, since there is no inland river connection. Maybe it got there via Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean, or it was shipped by rail (intact, or partially disassembled) to Hay River NT upstream from the bridge.



^ Another view of the Merv Hardie from the shore, showing the wooden tracks on which the vessel can slide into or out of the river.




^ In addition to the former ferry crossing, there once was an ice bridge upriver from the ferry crossing, carrying traffic in the winter when the ferry was out of service. Shown above are the southern and northern junctions with NT 3 of the unpaved former NT 3 designated winter detour route. Both roads remain open, even though there is no ice bridge anymore, and indeed people live along the detour route north of the river.




^ The ramps on the southern and northern shores of the river, respectively, that took traffic onto the former ice bridge. There is nothing there anymore, except signs about the recreational sites there which are still used for fishing. Unlike other recreational sites along the river, these belong to the territorial transportation department.



^ A view of the Deh Cho Bridge, from the northern ice bridge ramp several km upstream.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 02:56:35 PM by oscar »
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GaryV

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Re: Photos of NT's Deh Cho Bridge, and the crossings it replaced
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 06:31:33 AM »

Great photos.  Just one comment, the city listed on a vessel is the site of the registration, not the build.  There are freighters on the Great Lakes that are registered in Wilmington DE - a site physically incapable for the boat to have ever been, since the boat won't fit through the Seaway and Welland locks.
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iBallasticwolf2

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Re: Photos of NT's Deh Cho Bridge, and the crossings it replaced
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 05:03:09 PM »

Your photos are beautiful. I find the tolling system interesting on the bridge.
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sipes23

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Re: Photos of NT's Deh Cho Bridge, and the crossings it replaced
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 10:45:00 PM »

Oscar, you're giving me Yellowknife Fever.

Great photos. Thanks so much for taking 'em.
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haljackey

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Re: Photos of NT's Deh Cho Bridge, and the crossings it replaced
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 11:20:22 PM »

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