“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared August 27, 2002.
4th Street S.W. at Elbow Drive
• For more than 100 years, travellers have been crossing the Elbow River near Mission Bridge at the southwest corner of 4th Street and Elbow Drive S.W. In 1886, a wooden bridge replaced the ford in the river. Three years later, local citizens were already complaining about the rotten plank flooring, and by 1897 a new steel bridge had been erected. In 1915, city engineer George W. Craig supervised construction of a concrete bridge. In June of that year, one of the worst floods in Calgary's history threatened the unfinished project and claimed the life of a city worker. The bridge was completed and opened in August.
• Although the bridge has been extensively rebuilt over the past
87 years, elements of the original 1915 structure remain. An average of 17,000 vehicles per day cross the Mission Bridge. It is one of 70 vehicular bridges spanning the rivers of Calgary.