Located next to the Alberta Legislature Building, the High Level Bridge linked the separate communities of Edmontonand Strathcona, which became one city in 1912. It was designed from the outset to accommodate rail, streetcar, two-way automobile, and pedestrian traffic.
The first CPR train (a passenger service) operated on June 2, 1913, after which the bridge became a part of the Calgary-Edmonton main line. Streetcar service started on the west streetcar track of the bridge on August 11, 1913 (at 11 am) with the east streetcar track opening by September of that year and automobile traffic after that. Automobile traffic did not begin at the same time as CPR and streetcar traffic as the lower deck had not been completed and the installation of galvanized iron under the tracks was still needed to prevent cinders dropping from steam trains onto traffic on the lower deck.