I still could weep with frustration over how an ounce of prevention probably would have saved the loss of these trestles. However, it's still fun to look at the pictures and see how things changed over the years. In 1990, Ham Hambly and I drove his jeep wagon over the rock fall just east of Ruth and then over the next two bridges which both were by then denuded of ties and hence right to the west end of the Canyon Creek bridge at mileage 87.9. We didn't show our wives the photos of that little escapade.
I would have to disagree with your comment that the KVR was responsible for BC staying in Confederation. The CPR main line which went into regular service in the summer of 1886 was what cemented BC into the Dominion of Canada. You are quite right that politics played no little part in getting the KVR built, but by then the considerations and incentives were much more mundane than keeping BC Canadian - those considerations were by then solely concerned with money. The British and Europeans are just like the Americans in their love of money, the one difference between the Americans and the others is that Americans will spend no end of money if they can see lots more money to be made as a result. The British and Europeans will always spend as little as humanly possible and here was where Southern British Columbia got caught between the two philosophies. Even though the Rossland and Phoenix mines were fabulously wealthy, the CPR would only fund the most basic transportation services into these hitherto remote areas. The CPR service was a Mickey Mouse combination of steam boats and disconnected branch lines connecting the Kootenay - Boundary country to the CPR main line. It was as cheapskate as possible. Not so with the Americans, though their service levels became unsatisfactory with the passage of the boom.
The moment the Americans (read J. J. Hill) realized that there were serious dollars to be made out of these mines, situated as luck would have it, almost on top of the International Boundary, they made a beeline for them with good railway connections. The CPR was anywhere from 15 to 30 years behind the Americans in putting into place a truly effective all-Canadian line that was a match to what the Americans had in place essentially from day one. Still, even though the CPR lagged far behind, it was indeed the KVR which finally served to tilt transportation permanently from a north-south axis to an east-west axis. It was only when the CPR saw some glimmers of development possibilities to the west of the Boundary that any serious efforts were made on a Coast to Kootenay rail line. It may help to bear in mind that Lord Shaughnessy was a major player in early land development in the Penticton - Summerland areas.
Even when the KVR finally connected the Kootenays to the Coast - it was after the height of the Kootenay-Boundary mineral boom and it was mainly operational expediencies, mostly in the form of the 1929 main line detours over the KVR that prompted the CPR to close the rail gap along Kootenay Lake. After 1886, British Columbia was firmly in the Canadian camp, but during the period 1896 to 1908, to the fury of the Canadian residents of Southern BC, the Canadian establishment was content to let the Americans skim the cream. Nothing much has changed, eh?!!