Hyland River Bridge
Against a background of forested hills in northern British Columbia, the graceful three spans of the Hyland River Bridge cross a tributary of the Liard River. The tributary was named for Frank Hyland, who operated trading posts throughout the area in the late 1800s during the Gold Rush. He competed with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and even printed his own currency for his customers.
The steel, continuous deck truss bridge is 184.31 m (604.68 feet) long and located at 937.3 km of the Alaska Highway. Designed and built by the US Public Roads Administration (PRA) in 1943, the bridge is associated with the initial phase of building the highway.
Unlike the majority of bridges on the Alaska Highway, the Hyland River Bridge is one of six “special crossings” bridges. It had to be custom-designed because the crossing was so wide that the US PRA could not use the standard bridge parts (pre-fabricated spans) available to them. To meet this challenge, the US PRA engineers decided not to waste valuable time creating a new design, but rather chose to adapt a bridge design used on the Inter-American Highway to cross the Rio Goascoran between El Salvador and Honduras.
The bridge underwent a major rehabilitation in 2004 that included widening the roadbed as well as strengthening the trusses with new braces and installing concrete traffic barriers along the two sides of the bridge.