Browns Over O.F.C. Bridge - Osoyoos, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 06.868 W 119° 33.968
11U E 312746 N 5443351
Quick Description: The source of the water which irrigates the entire southern Okanagan Valley, the Okanagan River is the single most important feature of the area.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 9/17/2021 3:44:05 PM
Waymark Code: WM14ZF0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 2

Long Description:
Along the river from Vaseux Lake to just south of Road 22 near Osoyoos are 19 dams, a handful of which also serve as road bridges. Between Oliver and Osoyoos Lake, 17 of the 19 are smaller man-made dams known as Vertical Drop Structures, all spanned by narrow vehicle or pedestrian bridges. Each of these dams raises the water level of the river one metre, thereby increasing the storage capacity of the river. Designed to regulate the flow of water as it gradients downhill, these dams had to be built when the river was channelized, preventing the water from flowing too quickly and posing a downstream threat to habitat erosion, fish migration and human safety.

The dams, or Vertical Drop Structures, are numbered VDS 1 to VDS 17 from south to north, beginning north of Osoyoos Lake. VDS 3, this is the third of the Vertical Drop Structures, this one about 5.5 kilometres north of Osoyoos Lake. VDS 3, about 41 metres, or 135 feet, in length, serves as the road bridge for Road 18. A wood plank decked bridge, it is easily reached via Road 18 about .7 kilometres east off Highway 97.

As can be seen in the photos, some of the plank bridge decking was being replaced the day I visited. To my surprise, one of the workmen on the project told me that the decking only lasts about five years on a heavily used bridge.

The name posted at the bridge, Browns Over O.F.C. Bridge, leaves me scratching my head. Assuming the bridge was named in honour of person surnamed Brown still doesn't explain the Over O.F.C. part. I'll work on it. (Okanagan Fxxxx Channel?)


An ambitious irrigation scheme, the South Okanagan Lands Project, begun in 1918 by then Premier John Oliver would soon turn the southern Okanagan from a desert wasteland to a highly productive farming, market gardening and wine producing area. The area became so productive so quickly that, in 1920, the CPR deemed it necessary to begin construction of a spur line, the Osoyoos Subdivision, south from Penticton, eventually to reach Osoyoos at the U.S. border.

    The irrigation scheme consisted of 2 major parts:
  1. Channeling the Okanagan River which flows south from Okanagan Lake.
  2. Creating a canal, known locally as The Ditch, coming off the river south of Vaseux Lake to irrigate areas downstream which were higher the the river.
Photo goes Here
Type: Plank Bridge

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