Pashleth Creek Bridge

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Pashleth Creek Bridge
Rivers Inlet, British Columbia, Canada
335 feet high / 102 meters high
335 foot span / 102 meter span
1981

Image by Buckland & Taylor.


Have you ever wanted to own a high bridge for a day? Pitch your tent right in the center of the span and sleep to the sounds of a river rushing more than 328 feet (100 mtrs) beneath you? Well here is your chance.

Constructed in 1981 near Rivers Inlet on the West coast of British Columbia, Canada is the Pashleth Creek bridge. Crossing 335 feet (102 mtrs) above the creek gorge, the world’s highest logging bridge was built with a rare under slung Queen post that assists in supporting a 335 foot (102 mtr) long 3-span deck truss. Except for the vertical struts, the entire Queen post is made of steel cables. Since the builders only had access to the opposite river bank by helicopter, the bridge was constructed by launching the entire truss from one side of the canyon in a single piece. The Queen posts were then folded down beneath the truss and the decking added. Designed by Canada’s famous engineering team of Buckland & Taylor, the narrow span was inspected by the firm in 1992 and 2003 and found to be in good condition. In 2001, a second logging bridge was built across the Machmell. Just 180 feet (55 mtrs) high, the bridge is very similar to the Pashleth Creek crossing except the span has a King post truss setup with just one strut underneath the deck.

In 2005, the entire Machmell River logging operation was dismantled. Environmental laws regarding what regions could be logged had been changed. From the machinery and the trucks to the buildings and the barges - everything had to go! Since there are no roads that reach the Machmell River watershed from the interior of British Columbia, the bridge can only be accessed by boat or plane. So if you want to visit a bridge that has been crossed more by deer in the last 4 years than people, its going to cost you. For more than a thousand dollars you can hire a bush pilot or charter a boat from Port Hardy or Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Upon reaching Rivers Inlet, you will have to trek another 20 miles (32 kms) up Owikeno Lake before a final 14 mile (22 km) hike or ATV ride from the old Machmell Camp site to the bridge. Are you game?

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