The million dollar Bridge of Dreams has become a well-known landmark to Princeton since its completion in 2010. Its grand opening celebration on April 15 of 2010 was the beginning of what most hope will be a long run of publicity for the bridge, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, the Trans Canada Trail and for Princeton. It has been featured in national and international websites, magazines and online social media.
The bare concrete piers that the bridge was placed on once held the train trestle that connected two different branch lines. After a long and determined search for grant monies then, Vermilion Trails Society president Judy Short was thrilled when the grant writing paid off in a big way and the members were able to announce the news that the Tulameen River would again have a crossing over those same piers. Once the grant money was secured, VTS decided to go with a B.C. firm. StructureCraft was chosen. At the time StructureCraft had already been hired to build the roof on the Richmond Oval. This project was another highly visible feat that the firm completed with flying colours.
The Bridge of Dreams is not for trains these days, but has become a popular destination for hikers and cyclists through town. The architecture welcomes visitors for a rest. It is a highlight of the town and has far surpassed expectations. Along with the bridge’s completion has come a burst of awards and attention. StructureCraft won the “2011 Wood Works!” B.C. award for best Engineer 2011 – Gerald Epp.The bridge was featured in the spring issue of Wood Design and Building, on the Trans Canada website, on the Trails B.C. website, on the Green Architecture and Building report out of Oregon and in Western Living magazine. The bridge is also a feature in Dana Meise’s “The Great Hike” ongoing You Tube blog about his trip along the Trans Canada Trail from coast to coast across Canada.
“A design-builder comprised of “engineers who understand architecture,” StructureCraft Builders Inc. harnesses master-craftsmen traditions, sophisticated engineering, and modern construction techniques to create complex structures. The company recently demonstrated its engineering and design prowess on two high-profile projects in British Columbia, Canada—the roof for the 2010 Richmond Olympic Oval and the Bridge of Dreams Trans-Canada Trail footbridge in Princeton.” This is article on the bridge. is featured through a online software publication.
“On many projects, balancing aesthetics and function is also a challenge. It’s often difficult to satisfy all of the project goals in an aesthetically pleasing way,” said StructureCraft spokesperson Diaz. For example, not only did the Olympic Oval roof need to be beautiful, it had to control and dampen echoes as well as hide electrical, mechanical, and sprinkler systems. And the Bridge of Dreams had to blend into the scenery, while providing safe passage and shelter to trail goers year-round.”
“The Trans Canada Trail is proud to celebrate the completion of the Bridge of Dreams, a trail-building milestone in Princeton, British Columbia. This historic occasion marks the rebirth of the last train bridge built to complete the legendary Kettle Valley Railroad.” This is a small write-up on the Trans Canada Trail website. “In the spring 1915, construction workers dubbed the span over the Tulameen River “The Bridge of Dreams.”
With its completion, the extraordinary idea of linking points east of the Rockies to Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean was made real. The driving in of the KVR’s last spike took place some 94 years ago on a spot where the Trans Canada Trail provides a new kind of transportation today.”
“The Bridge of Dreams 2010 is a testament to the dedication and tenacity of the Vermilion Trails Society volunteers. Since 1998, this tireless group has been responsible for the development and maintenance of the Princeton Subdivision section of the Trans Canada Trail, a 113-kilometre stretch from Osprey Lake to Brookmere. This area has since become a popular tourist destination for Canadians and visitors from all over the world.”
Pages of travel blogs talk about the Bridge of Dreams. The Bridge of Dreams once united rail lines and travellers. Today, 96 years later, it is still giving travellers a thrill and a reason to come visit one small rural town. It may have been a dream more than once, but today it is a tourist destination an award winning bridge and a source of community pride.