|A Ravine Crossing on the Great
When building a railway over hills or through valleys it is often
advisable to the travel a few extra kilometers to avoid a steep grade
and the expensive construction costs associated with difficult
terrain. As far as the prairies go, the northern portion of the
Souris River valley is a major challenge. The surveyors for the Great
Northern had rejected a crossing straight south of Minto (where
Highyway #10 crossed today) where the
valley is both deep and wide, and had selected a site near the hamlet
The ravines south of the river were crossed by building temporary
trestles and dumping fill to create a road-level earthen dam, complete
with huge pipes designed to let the runoff through. The pipes soon
broke and had to be replaced with concrete tunnels two metres square -
still quite visible today, although somewhat clogged with rubble.
One resident told me about boyhood adventures that included a dare to
go through the tunnel.