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Victoria Avenue Bridge

Victoria Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: December 25, 2012

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Victoria Avenue Over KH-420 (Roberts Street)
Niagara Falls: Niagara Region, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1941 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

A major part of Ontario's history of bridge construction revolves around concrete rigid-frame bridges. Shortly after the bridge type was invented around 1930, Ontario began building the bridge in large quantities, both for water crossings and also for highway overpasses. The rigid frame bridge is one of the most common types of pre-1970 bridges in Ontario, something that is not true elsewhere. In the neighboring state of Michigan, rigid-frame bridges are downright rare. In neighboring New York State, rigid-frame bridges are usually confined to early limited access highway (expressway) overpasses. It is in this history that the Victoria Avenue Bridge has a connection. When the first limited access highways began to be built in the 1930s in places like New York City, Connecticut's Merritt Parkway, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the rigid-frame bridge was found to be well-suited for overpasses on these highways. New York City and Connecticut frequently faced these overpasses in stone to make them look attractive. A number of these overpasses still survive today. Oddly, as popular as rigid-frames are in Ontario, the practice of facing them in stone never appears to have taken root in the province. The Victoria Avenue Bridge, one of the oldest rigid-frame overpasses in Ontario with a 1941 construction date, is also the only stone faced rigid frame overpass in the entire province. As such, it is one of the most important rigid frame heritage bridges in Ontario. In addition to the stone facing, the bridge also has a keystone with a sculpture of a crown on it. There is more than just the bridge itself to look at here. The King's Highway 420 passes under Victoria Avenue Bridge as a depressed roadway. As such, there was the need for large retaining walls on either side of the highway, and these also are faced in the same type of stone. Special stone pedestals on this wall provide mounts for lighting. The highway is on a curve as it passes under the bridge which adds a further visual dynamic to the setting. The setting is that of a sweeping curve of beautiful stonework with the stone faced bridge being the centerpiece of it all.

With the King's Highway 420 being the way that the many Niagara Falls visitors enter the area, and the overpass only a short distance from downtown Niagara Falls and the Falls themselves, this overpass is a beautiful gateway into Niagara Falls.


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