Note: This bridge's original railings have been replaced since these photos were taken. Information from Ontario Bridge Inventory: Bridge width: 10.46 meters.
When King's Highway 401 was first built, the overpass bridges constructed for it were designed with aesthetics in mind. Over the years, these bridges have been demolished and replaced with modern mundane bridges with no aesthetic qualities to the point where bridges like this one are rare on the highway today.
The design of this single span rigid-frame overpass provides the appearance an arched structure with a constant curve, rather than a curve that steepens at the ends and blends into the abutment as seen in some of the other single span rigid-frame overpasses on Highway 401 in between London and Woodstock. The result of this is that the abutments of this bridge and the arched portion have the appearance of distinct features of the bridge, although in truth as a rigid frame, these two elements are all part of a single continuous unit.
King's Highway 401 is the very busy backbone of Ontario's surface transportation system, running from the province of Quebec to the city of Windsor, and running through Toronto in between. King's Highway 400 is another highway running from Toronto northward to Barrie and beyond. These two freeways are noted for being two of the older freeways in Ontario, although not as old as the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Both KH-401 and KH-400 limited access highways are also noted for a rich and varied collection of bridges dating to the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these bridges are noted for their aesthetically pleasing design. The rigid frame which was so popular in Ontario was adapted for many of the overpasses. Another popular design for bridges of this period appears to have been the reinforced concrete slab, which in some cases was arched, providing an otherwise bland design type with an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Both the concrete slab and rigid-frame bridges were finished in the popular ornamental railing that was popular during the period.
HistoricBridges.org considers those bridges which retain original railings and are either rigid-frames or reinforced concrete slabs with aesthetic design to have at least some level of heritage significance, as long as they date to before 1970. Because many of these bridges have been replaced or irreversibly altered, with more alterations and replacements undoubtedly planned for the future, it is important to identify those bridges which meet this criteria. It is those bridges which should be prioritized for preservation. Even though these bridges may not be the most historically significant of Ontario bridges, it is important to consider the positive effect these visually pleasing overpasses have on a freeway which in many cases would be otherwise boring and ugly in many places if it were not for these bridges.
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