One last spot in this excursion into the Gatineau Hills was a bridge spanning the Gatineau River at Wakefield. Given Tom's interest in covered bridges, I knew he and Janette would enjoy this one. The Wakefield Covered Bridge is seen here from the auto bridge upstream. The first bridge, the Gendron, built in 1915, was destroyed by fire in the 1980s. It was a blow to the community, who organized to rebuild it, and the finished bridge was inaugurated in 1998. It is open to pedestrians and cyclists, but not to cars. The bridge is faithful in design to its predecessor, and rests on top of the original cement supports.
Here we have the entrance on the east side. The bridge is 87.8 metres (288 feet) long, 5.5 metres (18 feet) wide, and both 4.9 metres (16 feet) above the river and in terms of its wall height. Most of that's wood- Douglas fir for the structure and pine exterior siding, with a steel roof.
A nearby staircase leads down to the river itself.
This view looks downstream. The better part of the village is down there at a bend in the river.
Here we have a view looking back up.
A sign with the vital statistics of the structure and the story of its new life is found near the entrance. The old bridge was very much the heart of the community, and its destruction was a profound loss. Resurrecting it in a new bridge has given the community its heart back.
Before stepping inside, I paused to photograph upstream. The bridge we crossed over with the car is over there.
Inside the bridge, there are displays about the history of the old bridge and the building of the new one. The community came together to raise the funds- $600 000- to rebuild, and the two spans of equal length were first assembled on land and then floated on the river by barge to the site. Those spans weighed 57 000 kilograms. I have more from here in tomorrow's post.