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Longwood Bridge

Low Level Bridge

Longwood Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: December 25, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
KH-403 (Eastbound Lanes) Over Desjardins Canal
Location
Hamilton: Hamilton City, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1962
Main Span Length
80 Feet (24.38 Meters)
Structure Length
170 Feet (51.82 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Information from Ontario Bridge Inventory: Span lengths: 13.7 meters, 24.4 meters, 13.7 meters. Bridge width: 15.5 meters.

This bridge is an impressive concrete arch bridge. It was originally built to carry Longwood Road. Later in the 1960s, the bridge was incorporated into the King's Highway 403 which was built over the canal, which also brought an end to Longwood Road crossing the canal. To accommodate the expressway a second bridge was built next to the arch bridge. The second bridge carries westbound KH-403 traffic, while the arch bridge carries eastbound KH-403 traffic.

This bridge is a rare example of a closed spandrel arch bridge that has a ribbed design. Rather than a single, solid arch ring with fill on top where the deck can rest, the ribbed design is similar to that used more commonly on open spandrel arch bridges, where each arched rib extends up to support the deck. The bridge has a large central span that crosses the canal and one shorter arch span at each end. The arches have a graceful appearance and have modest architectural details. The arches, piers, and abutments all appear to retain good historic integrity with no major alterations noted. However, this bridge's original ornate concrete railings with a lattice-like design on them were removed and replaced with typical, ugly modern concrete barrier. The postcard to the right shows the bridge with its original railing. After viewing the postcard and comparing it to the bridge as seen today is is surprising how devastating the loss of the original railings was to the beauty of this bridge. The bridge looks quite plain compared to what it looked like with the original railing on it.

Despite alteration, this bridge remains a noteworthy, technologically significant heritage bridge. 

This bridge is located at an area that has been home to many bridges, some of which remain standing today, some of which no longer remain. Three of the bridges remaining today, including the Longwood Bridge have heritage value. The Longwood Bridge was built just prior to the construction of the current High Level Bridge, and helped serve as a detour during that bridge's construction. The High Level Bridge crosses over the third heritage bridge, the Desjardins Canal Railway Bridge, which passes under the bridge at an angle. This railway bridge is older than the current High Level Bridge.

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