Schedule of Events
Reconstruction of the Mayerthorpe Timber Trestle Bridge
The bridge at Mile 74.7 Sangudo Subdivision was an open deck pile trestle that was 1,141 feet long and 49 feet high. The center span was an 89 foot long deck plate girder that spanned the Little Paddle River. On April 26, 2017, the bridge was burned to the ground as a result of arson. This closed the line to rail traffic between Edmonton and Whitecourt and beyond. CN quickly evaluated various options and the decision was made to reconstruct the bridge by filling the ends with granular fill and constructing a 300 foot bridge out of steel and concrete to cross the river. Design of the bridge and construction occurred simultaneously. At the same time, the approach fills on each end were also being placed. Work was carried out on all aspects of the bridge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the first train crossed the new structure, 20 days after it was consumed by fire.
JIM LOWE, P.Eng.
Jim is the Senior Manager, Bridges and Structures, for the Western Region at Canadian National Railway based in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been with CN for more than thirty-three years, of which twenty-seven have been in the Bridges & Structures department. Jim has held increasing levels of responsibility in design, project management, and managing the department. In addition, he has been involved with numerous bridge and tunnel projects in Western Canada. Jim is a member of APEGA and AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) and holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Calgary.