They do backbreaking work at incredible heights … They live hard, play hard, and work hard in the world’s most dangerous trade … A band of brothers who live and work on the edge.
This isn’t the voiceover narration for a superhero blockbuster. It’s the teaser for an upcoming TV pilot starring … Canadian ironworkers.
Anaïd Productions Inc., a well-known Canadian production company, joined forces with Ironworkers International last June to profile the gravity- (and fear-) defying work of structural Ironworkers on the Walterdale Bridge project in Edmonton.
The result is a pilot episode for Hanging Iron, a potential Canadian television series that would follow Ironworkers as they battle height, wind, weight and time to build the structures that facilitate the daily lives of Canadians across the country.
The production company has released a teaser trailer for the episode, which will be available in its entirety in the coming months. If a major network picks up the pilot, then a 13-episode series will be filmed.
The Walterdale Bridge project served as the perfect setting for the pilot episode, highlighting the nature of structural ironworking and the skills — and courage — involved. Spanning the North Saskatchewan River, with the Edmonton skyline in the background, the previous bridge was in place for more than 100 years before the $155 million replacement project began in 2013.
Ironworkers from Local 720 had to race against weather, time and scheduling to install the centre span of the bridge, fearing major project delays and costs if the window of time for installation was missed. They worked both from the banks of the river and from high, high above its partially frozen waters, walking across steel beams like daredevil gymnasts.