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Simcoe Street Bridge

   


Simcoe Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: April 12, 2011
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Key Facts

Location
Oshawa: Durham Region, Ontario
Structure Type
Concrete Rigid-Frame, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1941 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge is one of three overpasses in Oshawa that are over ten years older than most of the "old" overpasses on KH-401. Indeed, having been built in 1939-1941, these overpasses are among the oldest limited access highway overpasses in Canada, surpassed perhaps only by a couple overpasses that are (or were) on the QEW. The age of the Oshawa overpasses is evidence that the freeway itself is a very old section of freeway as well, representing an early limited access highway in Canada.

Unlike the Front Street Bridge, this bridge at Simcoe Street has lost its original railings, which greatly reduces the aesthetic qualities of the overpass. Regardless it is historically significant and is listed in the Ontario Heritage Bridge List.

About Ontario Freeways With Heritage Bridges

King's Highway 401 is the very busy backbone of Ontario's surface transportation system, running from the province of Quebec to the city of Windsor, and running through Toronto in between. King's Highway 400 is another highway running from Toronto northward to Barrie and beyond. These two freeways are noted for being two of the older freeways in Ontario, although not as old as the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Both KH-401 and KH-400 limited access highways are also noted for a rich and varied collection of bridges dating to the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these bridges are noted for their aesthetically pleasing design. The rigid frame which was so popular in Ontario was adapted for many of the overpasses. Another popular design for bridges of this period appears to have been the reinforced concrete slab, which in some cases was arched, providing an otherwise bland design type with an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Both the concrete slab and rigid-frame bridges were finished in the popular ornamental railing that was popular during the period.

HistoricBridges.org considers those bridges which retain original railings and are either rigid-frames or reinforced concrete slabs with aesthetic design to have at least some level of heritage significance, as long as they date to before 1970. Because many of these bridges have been replaced or irreversibly altered, with more alterations and replacements undoubtedly planned for the future, it is important to identify those bridges which meet this criteria. It is those bridges which should be prioritized for preservation. Even though these bridges may not be the most historically significant of Ontario bridges, it is important to consider the positive effect these visually pleasing overpasses have on a freeway which in many cases would be otherwise boring and ugly in many places if it were not for these bridges.

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Photos and Videos: Simcoe Street Bridge

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