Image №1: Courtesy of the Calgary Public Library’s Williams & Harris Shared History Centre (See Image Credits).
Chaos in the Age of Optimism
NOVEMBER 1907: Work begins on the St George Bridge, connecting East Calgary to the Island Park in the Bow River.
110 YEARS LATER: Live-tweets from the construction are finally posted to Twitter @zoobridge_yyc
With construction of the St George Bridge by the Algoma Steel Bridge Company (ASBC) at last beginning, the residents of Calgary have hardly noticed, their attention drawn to the city’s political drama.
Zoobridge (@Zoobridge_YYC) November 03, 2017
This has left the bridge to be built in the background without excessive scrutiny, perhaps to relief of its contractors. ASBC was founded by experienced bridge builders but as a single entity it is itself an untested, the St George Bridge being its first project.
The Calgary City Council has all-eyes upon it, as it is riven with division, bitter infighting, and personal conflict. Accusations of corruption are being exchanged almost daily amongst the city’s political leaders.
The election for the 1908 Council is scheduled for December 9th.
The Council of 1907 has been one of the most productive councils in Calgary’s history and Mayor Arthur Cameron, running on his accomplishments, hopes to be re-elected despite the political fireworks.
The ongoing (and one-sided) feud pursued by Alderman John Watson against City Engineer Speakman continues unabated, with the Alderman rarely missing an opportunity to undermine the city’s chief civil engineer both in council chambers and in the newspapers.
And then there are the free-floating allegations of graft, corruption and criminality at city hall. Merely heated rhetoric or are there crimes awaiting exposure in the City of Calgary?
Since this project started 1 year ago until the beginning of this November, there have been 224 tweets posted, less than 1 per day on average.
In November and December the number of tweets will more than double.
After a long overture, the first act of this story has well and truly begun. Follow along on twitter or visit my other website: Strictly a River Crossing for a history of Calgary’s unique steel bridges.
Re-printed from the original Medium Post on Strictly A River Crossing.