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Atherley Narrows Railway Bridge

Atherley Narrows Railway Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Caleb Barker

Bridge Documented: January 1, 2021

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Orillia: Simcoe County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Metal Through Girder, Movable: Swing (Rim Bearing Center Pier) and Approach Spans: Concrete Slab, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1920 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
148.0 Feet (45.1 Meters)
Structure Length
430.5 Feet (131.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
14 Feet (4.27 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: Slated for demolition and replacement!

This is an abandoned swing bridge that is testimony to both the area's railway and water navigation history, yet is slated for demolition. The proposed project calls for the demolition and replacement of the bridge with a modern pedestrian bridge. A better solution that preserves the heritage of the location would be to preserve this bridge for pedestrian use, even if that came at the expense of replacing the approach spans and raising the swing span so as to allow for boats without needing to operate the swing span.

The bridge is located near the Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site, which according to Wikipedia are one of the oldest human developments in Canada. These fishing weirs were built by the first nations people well before recorded history, dating to about 4500 B.P. during the Archaic period in North America, according to carbon dating done on some of the wooden remnants.

The swing span and west approach date to ca. 1920 while the east steel approach was constructed ca. 1970.

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This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos


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