Sikanni River Bridge.
The timber bridge on the right replaced the temporary floating pontoon bridge on left.
The soldiers bet their paychecks that they could finish the bridge over the swift flowing, snow fed, nearly 300 feet wide Sikanni river in less than three days.
Heath Twitchel, Sr., Commanding officer describes the scene,
"Quickly they felled a number of these forest giants, and from them squared timbers out of which bridge trestles of the proper width and height were framed. Waiting crews then waded chest deep into the icy stream with these trestles, using long ropes tied to the bank to keep from being swept down by the current. Floating the trestles into position, they lowered them into place and weighted them with rocks... Substantial beam of squared logs were then placed from trestle to trestle, and on top of these a decking of smaller logs cut to form a roadway. A layer of earth on top of this provided a surface on which the heaviest loads could travel easily. To protects the bridge from ice or driftwood, heavy timber cribs were then built upstream, and these were also filled with rocks...[All this] time the woods rang with the sound of axes and were lit by headlights of vehicles used to illuminate the work. These are some Negro work chants... The woods resounded with these songs as the work progressed, and when it was finished, all the regiment's troubles had been washed away in the bracing waters of the Sikanni Chief."
(-Northwest Epic,The Building of the Alaska Highway by Heath Twitchel, Jr. pg 180-181)
What does this bridge look like now?
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