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Wascana Park

I-Panels


 

 

Interpretive Panel:
The Evolution of a Bridge

(Click on a picture for larger view)

 

In 1883 the CPR and its business partner, the Canada North-West Land Company, spent more than $14,000 in the new Regina town site digging a well, grading five streets, and building a dam. That dam was the first control structure on Pile of Bones creek. It crossed the water between Angus and Albert Streets, approximately one block west of the present day Albert Memorial Bridge. Constructed of three-inch planks and banked with earth, the dam was in constant need of repair. While the combination dam and fourteen foot wide bridge allowed for only a single lane of traffic, it did provide a way across the creek. In 1901, flooding caused extensive damage to the bridge. Repairs were made, and a spillway was constructed to prevent similar flood damage from occurring again.

In 1908, the Provincial government decided to construct a new distinctive, arch style, concrete bridge and dam on Albert Street. It engaged the Parsons Construction Company to undertake the work, including constructing some retaining walls and using horse drawn scrapers to level and clean the contiguous lake bed. This was a busy year on what was now known as Wascana Creek. There were crews working on the new Albert Street Bridge, the lake, the retaining structures, and further upstream to the southeast, the new Broad Street Bridge.

In 1930 the Albert Memorial Bridge was constructed. The discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922 influenced the architectual design of the 256 metre long bridge, which is Egyptian in style. At each entry of the bridge are obelisk- like towers, while lotus flowers and papyrus plants enhance the terra-cotta balusters and lamp posts. The entry towers are adorned with images of Queen Victoria, while the lamp posts feature buffalo heads. this reflects Regina's growth from Pile of Bones to the Queen City. The Albert Memorial Bridge, which was named after Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert, was refurbished in 1988 at the cost of $1.4 million.

" The large ornate bridge which crossed a fifty foot creek was a target for derision for many years and none would see beauty in it ..... However time has erased the scornful criticism and with a more prosperous generation, the public grudgingly conceded the relief program of 1930 provided a fine entrance for the capital city."

- Marguerite E. Robinson, Pile O' Bones: History of Wascana Creek.