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5th Street Bridge

5th Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 1, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
5th Street Over Thames River
Chatham: Chatham-Kent Region, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Metal Deck Girder, Movable: Bascule (Rolling Lift) and Approach Spans: Metal Railing Height Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Canadian Bridge Company of Walkerville, Ontario and Engineer/Design: Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
85 Feet (25.8 Meters)
Structure Length
253 Feet (77.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
36 Feet (10.97 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is actually a bascule bridge although it no longer operates, and the bridge-tender tower has been removed. It is one of the smallest double-leaf bascule spans, similar to the tiny bridge in Cheboygan, Michigan. Like the Cheboygan Bridge, this structure's short span length did not keep it from being a double-leaf bascule bridge. This bridge might surprise some people to find that this is one of only about 90 bridges provincial-wide to make Ontario's rather conservative Heritage Bridge List. The reason being, it is a rare example of a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge, and was actually designed by the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois, as identified on the bridge's plaque. The rolling lift design meant that the bascule rolled back on a track on the pier rather than rotating around a stationary axel as in the more common trunnion design. The 5th Street Bridge's superstructure was constructed by the Canadian Bridge Company of Walkerville, Ontario. The bridge was built in 1930/1931. It features a through plate girder approach span at each end. A similar bridge was built a few decades later on 3rd Street.

This bridge is listed on the Ontario Heritage Bridge List.


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