The Town of High River is taking the next step in preventing future flooding in their community, beginning with the removal of an iconic structure.

Associate Minister and High River Mayor Emile Blokland say that, beginning in October, the Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge that spans the Highwood River will be dismantled.

This is being done to eliminate a bottleneck in the river and increase the flowing capacity.

“This step will help prevent future flooding. We need to do everything we can to protect this vibrant community from another disaster,” Fraser said in a release.

“This bridge has been a recognizable landmark in High River for many years," said Mayor Emile Blokland. "However its removal is an important step in flood mitigation measures for the community.”

The original bridge was built in 1914 by the Calgary and Edmonton Railway.

The refurbished bridge hasn’t been used since 2010.

Crews have already been removing about 600 metres of rail leading to the bridge.

Calgary-based Tervita, which has been working in High River since July 18, will be conducting the removal of the railway.

The removal of the bridge and subsequent scalping of the river should nearly double the flowing capacity of the Highwood River, officials say.

Facts about the High River Rail Bridge:

  • 157 feet long
  • 22 feet wide
  • 30 feet tall
  • weighs about 500 tons
  • consists of a steel frame, rail ties and a wooden deck