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KH-2 Westbound Fairchild Creek Bridge

Colborne Street Bridge

KH-2 Westbound Fairchild Creek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: December 23, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Colborne Street (CR-53 and CR-2) (Westbound Lanes) Over Fairchild Creek
Rural: Brant County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Concrete Rainbow Through Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
102 Feet (31 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
23.6 Feet (7.19 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is a beautiful example of the standard rainbow arch bridges (also called concrete bowstring bridges) that Ontario built on its King's Highway system. The bridge includes the distinctive balustrade railings on the concrete sidewalk, and the arches with the pattern of inset rectangles. This bridge has been sensitively rehabilitated. It appears that the deck and the arch hangers were replaced, but the arch ribs and tie (bottom chord) remain original. This bridge is one of the few provincially-designed rainbow arch bridges that has been rehabilitated and preserved. The bridge was originally built as a two-way bridge, but today serves only westbound traffic, with a newer bridge carrying eastbound traffic. This solution of a one-way couplet of bridges is an excellent way to preserve heritage bridges that fail to provide enough lanes for traffic on their own.

Information and Findings From Canada's Historic Places

Description of Historic Place

The Brant Bowstring Bridge spans the Grand River on Colborne Street East between Brant Avenue in Brantford and Gilkison Street in the County of Brant. The property consists of a single-span concrete bowstring arch bridge that was constructed in 1931.

The property was designated by the County of Brant in 2006 for its historic and architectural significance under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 198-06).
Heritage Value

Heritage Value

The Brant Bowstring Bridge is the only bowstring arch bridge in the County of Brant. Spanning the Grand River on Colborne Street East at the boundary between the City of Brantford and the County of Brant it serves as a gateway marker. Built in 1931 of reinforced concrete, it was part of the Ontario Governments upgrading of transportation networks after World War I to accommodate the increasing number of automobiles in the area. The bridge's bowstring design was popular in the 1920s and 1930s as it required minimal material, was simple to install and could easily accommodate vehicular traffic.

The Brant Bowstring Bridge has a width of 11.7 metres with arches of 31 metres and a road width of 7.2 metres. It is considered by some to be the sister bridge to the Main Street Bridge in Cambridge, which was also constructed in 1931 using the bowstring design.

Sources: County of Brant By-law 198-06.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value include its:
- reinforced concrete bowstring arch construction
- original dimensions of 11.7 metre width and 7.2 metre road width and including the 31 metre arches
- decorative concrete rails and balustrades
- concrete deck beams.
- location on the Boundary between the City of Brantford and the County of Brant, serving as a gateway marker
- location on the Grand River.

Heritage Designation and Type: Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)


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