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Macdonell Street Railway Bridge

Allan's Bridge

Macdonell Street Railway Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 19, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Canadian Pacific) Over Speed River and Elizabeth Street
Guelph: Wellington County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1948 By Builder/Contractor: Canadian Bridge Company of Walkerville, Ontario

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
7 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: Slated for demolition and replacement as part of a Metrolinx project to expand Go service.

This is a bridge in a most unusual location. It was built directly above Macdonell Street to cross the Speed River directly over Macdonell Street. Macdonell Street approached the bridge by passing between the stone columns of the railway bridge. Today, this Macdonell Street Bridge has been abandoned, having been bypassed by a new bridge directly to the west. However, this railway bridge retains the unusual design needed to accommodate this design. The substructure consists of bents that are composed of a pair of stone columns. On top of these columns rests a built-up steel cap beam that spans between the two columns. This creates a gap under the bridge for the street. The bridge has stone abutments. The width of the abutments are twice as wide as the single track deck plate girder superstructure present at this bridge. This indicates the substructure was originally designed to accommodate a widening of the bridge to a double-track bridge. Additional plate girders would have been added beside the existing ones. Many railways designed bridges like this, but later never found the need to make the expansion to a double track format.

The Grand River Heritage Bridge Inventory suggests the bridge was built in ca. 1857. This is incorrect as a 1948 plaque was found on the superstructure. It is possible however, that the stone abutments and columns date from this period. Substructures were often reused when the superstructure was replaced. However it should be noted that the steel cap beams on the stone columns appear to date to the same 1948 date as the superstructure. The below photo was taken 1887 and shows the previous bridge at this location. It appears to have also been a deck plate girder. The design of the cap beam is not clear in the photo. However, the stone columns look like they could be the same columns, albeit with some sort of decorative extension on top which no longer remains. Photo Source: Guelph Public Library Item Number F38-0-15-0-0-275


Photo Galleries and Videos: Macdonell Street Railway Bridge

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Maps and Links: Macdonell Street Railway Bridge

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