Unlocking North Vancouver History

Building a Vancouver Icon: The Lions Gate Bridge

Construction of Bridge Deck

Bridge entrepreneur A. J. T. Taylor aimed to take advantage of cheap Depression-era labour. Still, the construction of the Lions Gate Bridge provided a welcome employment opportunity for a city wracked by labour riots and saddened by unemployed homeless. The maximum number of men on the construction payroll was 334, in October of 1937. Here a group of workmen are building the roadway. This was done after the truss and connecting floor-beam sections had been lifted into place and the floor system for the roadbed installed, starting with the stringers that connected the beams. Then sections of steel Tee-grid were secured on top and filled with three inches (8 cm) of concrete to make the roadbed. The workers poured the concrete in sections, working simultaneously from both ends of the span to avoid unequal loading that would overstress the cables. The weight of the concrete increased the bridge’s weight to its full design load.

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WHAT
A work gang pours concrete over the steel-grid roadway. The men are using relatively primitive construction methods, such as trowelling out concrete by hand.

WHERE
This picture looks south from the centre of the bridge towards Stanley Park.

WHEN
The concrete was poured between August 16 and 23, 1938.

WHO
Work crews drawn from the local Vancouver population performed much of the non-specialized bridge labour, such as pouring concrete.

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