Category Archives: Bridges

Spruce Woods Park Is Flooding…

Reid Dickie

JULY 2014 UPDATE: HERE

Today the province released its second daily flood update and little Spruce Woods Park appears to be flooding again.

An ice jam upstream from the park caused the Assiniboine River to rise seven feet overnight. Its waters now overflow Highway 5 which is closed for 2 kms in both directions from the bridge. The update says, “Maintenance crews have been dispatched to investigate where the ice jam is located, if it is in an accessible location ice jam mitigation action may be undertaken.” Let’s hope so.

If its flowing over the highway the water is also making its way along the ditches toward the access road into the Spirit Sands trail head and Marsh Lake north of the river and the oxbows to the south. Hopefully it won’t spill over into the lower campground as it did in 2011’s flood. The campground has been repaired over the past two years and just reopened last summer.

If I can get out there next week I’ll report from the park. Below is a picture of how Highway 5 looked after the 2011 flood in Spruce Woods Park. JULY 2011 YURT PICTURES 084

Several secondary roads have been closed due to flooding. You can find current information at http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/roadinfo/

Otherwise the province has issued a High Water Advisory meaning ice jams along Manitoba rivers, which are just starting to break up, could cause sudden overland flooding. Be especially alert if you live near the Assiniboine or Whitemud.

People living near Whitewater Lake in southwestern Manitoba should know the lake is at a record high level this spring. Provincial hydrologists are monitoring the lake’s outflow carefully. Be alert for possible overland flooding near the lake.

Southern Manitoba received a heavy wet snowfall today. Thankfully it didn’t amount to the 10 cms predicted but there is a fresh coat of snow itching to melt and drain. Areas around Riding Mountain received more snow than southern regions.

The daily flood updates can be accessed at http://www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/news_bulletins.html

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Filed under Bridges, Flood, Natural Places, Parks

Rural Route Images

Reid Dickie

More images from my summer travels around Manitoba. Click pics to enlarge.

Next to Hwy #16 east of Neepawa 

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Coming from the west is the opposite sign

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Fungus on dead tree, Riding Mountain National Park

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Great running lights on the most macho truck on the road, Portage la Prairie

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Old slumping banks of  Souris River, Wawanesa

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Long abandoned elevators in Elva

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Ancient outhouse on my cousin Vonda’s farm, south of Dauphin

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Sign in washroom of Sipiweske Museum, Wawanesa

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Muddy boots of seal coating crew, entrance Days Inn, Brandon

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Percy Criddle’s telescope in Sipiweske Museum, Wawanesa (much more on this in later post)

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Sunset on grid road, near Hayfield

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Filed under Bridges, Day Tripping, Local History, Museum, Natural Places, Pioneer Village

Old English Church, 602 River Avenue, Hartney, MB

Reid Dickie

This old church, built by Anglicans for the Parish of St. Andrew’s in 1893-94, is a classic example of austere Anglican church architecture. Unadorned brickwork laid in American Bond, extremely steep roof pitch, pointed Gothic windows topped with staid sunbursts and side buttresses are basic to the style. The tiny arched window under the gable ends is charming. Built by local artisans and church volunteers, the church has been described as a textbook example of Anglican church style.

The chancel at the rear of the church was added on in 1907, its steep roof the same pitch as the original building. Lacking a pastor for an number of years, the old place has found new life and new purpose in the little community of Hartney, becoming the home to a new community of the faithful.

For views of Old English Church from all angles, check out my 2:05 video.

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Filed under Bridges, Churches, Critters, Day Tripping, grief, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Manitobans of Note

Penis Fun Part 3

Here’s the content of the funny email from my friend:

Apparently no one considered the sun when designing this wall……


Anyone want to take a guess where this wall is located?

 SAINT PETER’S BASILICA!

Now, I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

Pretty funny but it would be funnier if it really was at St Peter’s in Vatican  It’s not. It’s Westminster Bridge in London, England. Don’t feel too deflated. It’s still a hoot and a excellent example of  thoroughly witless design or…

Previous penis fun here and here.

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Filed under Bridges, Humour

The Living Bridges of India

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Filed under Ancient Wisdom, Bridges, Earth Phenomena, Flood, Natural Places

Atlantic Road, Norway

This is a well shot 3:52 video of the drive over the Atlantic Road off the coast of Norway. The highway links several islands in a archipelago that stretches into the Norwegian Sea. Just over five miles long, on a blustery day, it would make a formidable commute to work. Click the pic and see for yourself.

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Filed under Bridges, Earth Phenomena, Natural Places, Roadside Attractions

Manitoba Heritage That Is Gone, Gone, Gone!

Reid Dickie

During my travels this summer working through my list of heritage places to visit, I came across several heritage sites that no longer exist. Although most of these sites have been designated as municipal and federal heritage sites, for various reasons they are now gone, gone, gone.

Designated a municipal heritage site in 1987 and included in the federal Canadian Register of Historic Places, Bethlehem Lutheran Church manse, which sat on Queen Elizabeth Road in Erickson, MB for a number of years after being moved from Scandinavia, MB, was demolished a couple of years ago. Used for a time as a museum, it deteriorated significantly and was becoming as public danger. It succumbed to old age.

The little village of Sifton, MB had a rare heritage site that was deemed municipally significant and designated as such in 2005. Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church, built in 1926 in the Lemko style, underwent extensive rehabilitation after designation, returning it to its beautiful original colour and condition, as you can see in the above picture. In 2010 the church burned down, probably arson. This isn’t the first fire on this site. Two buildings connected to the parish were also destroyed by fire. A 1905 orphanage burned in 1924 and a 1926 monastery went up in flames in the 1980s.

In the village of Garland, I went looking for Andrew Kowalewich General Store, an example of modest country stores, this one built in 1913 and clad in pressed tin. Although having municipal designation, the building was torn down by the owner about ten years ago.

In Dominion City, MB a timber truss bridge spanning the Roseau River was given heritage designation by the municipality in 2000. Unique in Manitoba because, though most truss bridges are made of steel, this one was made of wood. I use the past tense because the bridge was washed away by flood waters recently.

These aren’t the only Manitoba heritage sites that have vanished but they do give a fair overview of reasons why heritage sites disappear. Natural causes like weather, indifference to heritage significance in succeeding generations, deterioration of materials from age and firebugs are a few causes of heritage loss. Designation by various levels of government, while giving heritage sites prestige and importance, doesn’t assure the continued existence of places that, though once integral to the community, now search for new meaning in the 21st century.

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Filed under Bridges, Churches, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings

Two Bridges Over the Roseau

Reid Dickie

One of my heritage projects this summer is to photograph and film as many interesting bridges as I can find. The two train bridges a few posts back were the start of the series. The next episode in “Spanning Something in Manitoba” offers two bridges over the same river, the Roseau River in southern Manitoba.

The Roseau River is a relatively short (344 km) river whose headwaters are in northern Minnesota and which drains into the Red River west of Dominion City, thus part of the Hudson Bay watershed. The Roseau can carry a lot of water some springs and often floods the surrounding area which includes numerous First Nations. By mid-August 2012 it is a sluggish shallow pond lumbering toward its destiny.

At Gardenton, MB this wooden truss bridge spans the Roseau River. Built in 1918 using a model called the Howe truss, the relatively rare Howe truss, patented in 1840 by Massachusetts millwright William Howe, includes vertical members and diagonals that slope up towards the center. The diagonal web members are in compression and the vertical web members are in tension. Since the Howe truss can support heavy loads over long distances, it was hugely popular for railroad bridges. The Gardenton bridge replaced irregular ferry service and introduced a new and efficient method to move people and goods. The bridge has been designated a municipal heritage site.

A few miles downstream from the truss bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Roseau. Located northwest of the village of Roseau River in the Senkiw area, this swinging bridge was built in 1946 to allow school children to get to Senkiw school across the river. It was badly damaged in the 1950 flood and fell into disrepair after the school closed in 1967. Restored in 2000, it has been deemed a municipal heritage site.

About 140 feet long by my paces, the bridge has just enough sway and swing to make it interesting. The infrastructure that acts as footing and supports for the cables is an example of country thrift and ingenuity. The large round metal rollers with the spikes around which the cables are wound and held are threshing machine cylinders which pounded the stooks releasing the grain. In their new life secured upright against the prairie sky and wrapped in steel cables, the cylinders become sculptural symbols evoking ancient and future regimes of rust.

Suspension bridges are relatively rare in Manitoba. The swinging bridge in Souris, MB is the best known one although today, it is non-existent until a new one is built for the summer 2013.

Click now to watch my 3.75 minute video on these bridges.

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Two Trains Running, Two Trestles Standing

Reid Dickie

The trestle bridge in the picture above is outside Uno in western Manitoba. The bridge spans Minnewashtack Creek just before it joins the Assiniboine River. The surrounding valley of the two rivers is spectacular this year with lush green growth everywhere.  The Uno bridge, 1533 feet long, is supported by steel trestles. On average one train an hour crosses it. Access to the Uno bridge is off MB Hwy #83. On K Hill Road, drive two miles west of Beulah, MB, turn south for 1.5 miles, turn west for about a mile. In Uno, cross the tracks and turn left. In a kilometre or so the trestle bridge will arise on your left. There appears to be one occupied house left in Uno, appropriate I’d say.

This much more modest trestle bridge spans the CNR mainline about five miles east of the steel trestle, again off Hwy #83 outside of Miniota, MB. Made entirely of wood,  this bridge gives access to farms, the Silver Bend Trail and the Wakpa Tanka Lookout site. The driving surface, also wooden, is basically two ramps and a flat joining section. This trestle bridge is located west of MB Hwy #83 north of Miniota. Watch for the Wakpa Tanka site signs by the highway. Click on either picture to watch my video of trains passing over and under both trestle bridges.

I filmed another freight train going under the trestle bridge from on top of the bridge. Watch the 3:40 video here.

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Filed under Bridges, Day Tripping, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Trains