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Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing

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Title: Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: British Columbia Highway 1, Second Narrows Bridge, Queensborough Bridge, History of Vancouver, Lions Gate Bridge
Collection: Bridge Disasters Caused by Engineering Error, Bridge Disasters in Canada, Bridges Completed in 1960, Bridges in Greater Vancouver, Bridges on the Trans-Canada Highway, Buildings and Structures in Vancouver, Cantilever Bridges, Disasters in British Columbia, Former Toll Bridges in Canada, Historic Trails and Roads in Canada, History of Vancouver, Labor Monuments and Memorials, Memorial Roads of Canada, Monuments and Memorials in British Columbia, North Vancouver (District Municipality), Road Bridges in British Columbia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing

Ironworkers Memorial Bridge
Carries Six lanes of British Columbia Highway 1, pedestrians and bicycles
Crosses Burrard Inlet
Locale Vancouver
District of North Vancouver
Official name Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation
Design truss/cantilever bridge
Material steel
Total length 1,292 metres (4,239 ft)[1]
Longest span 335 metres (1,099 ft)[1]
Designer Swan, Wooster and Partners
Construction begin 1957
Opened August 25, 1960

The Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, also called the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and Second Narrows Bridge, is the second bridge constructed at the Second (east) Narrows of Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Originally named the Second Narrows Bridge, it connects Vancouver to the north shore of Burrard Inlet, which includes the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver. It was constructed adjacent to the older Second Narrows Bridge, which is now exclusively a rail bridge. The First Narrows Bridge, better known as Lions Gate Bridge, crosses Burrard Inlet about 5 miles west of the Second Narrows.

The bridge is a steel truss cantilever bridge, designed by Swan Wooster Engineering Co. Ltd. Construction began in November 1957, and the bridge was officially opened on August 25, 1960. It cost approximately $15 million to build. Tolls were charged until 1963.

The bridge is 1,292 metres (4,239 ft) long with a centre span of 335 metres (1,099 ft). It is part of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1).


  • Collapse 1
  • Renaming 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • Notes 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Collapsed spans, August 1958

On June 17, 1958, as a crane stretched from the north side of the new bridge to join the two chords of the unfinished arch, several spans collapsed. Seventy-nine workers plunged 30 metres (100 ft) into the water. Eighteen were killed either instantly or shortly thereafter, possibly drowned by their heavy tool belts. A diver searching for bodies drowned later, bringing the total fatalities for the collapse to 19. In a subsequent Royal Commission inquiry, the bridge collapse was attributed to miscalculation by bridge engineers. A temporary arm, holding the fifth anchor span, was deemed too light to bear the weight.[2]


The bridge was renamed the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing in 1994 to honour the 19 workers who died in the collapse, along with four others who also died during the construction process.[3]

In popular culture

Stompin' Tom Connors paid a musical tribute to the fallen ironworkers with the song "The Bridge Came Tumbling Down" on his 1972 album My Stompin' Grounds. (This tune also appears on several later compilations). Jimmy Dean's 1962 song "Steel Men" is a ballad about the Second Narrows bridge disaster. Gary Geddes' 2007 book of poetry, entitled Falsework, is based on the collapse of the bridge.


See also

Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing is located in Vancouver
Location of Ironworkers Memorial in Metro Vancouver


  1. ^ a b Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing at Structurae
  2. ^ Lowe, Keith (2000-06-26). "Bridge disaster recalled". North Shore News. Archived from the original on 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2006-02-04. 
  3. ^ "50th anniversary of Second Narrows Bridge collapse". WorkSafe BC. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 

External links

  • History of Metropolitan Vancouver
  • Satellite image of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and Second Narrows Bridge
  • Vancouver, BC Bridge Under Construction Collapses, June 1958 at
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