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Narrows Bridge

Narrows Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 20, 2013

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and Videos
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and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Narrows Lock Road (CR-14) Over Rideau Lake (Rideau Canal)
Location
Rural: Leeds and Grenville United Counties, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1898 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1964
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
70 Feet (21 Meters)
Roadway Width
13 Feet (3.96 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge crosses the Rideau Canal, which in this area runs through a large lake. The lake was divided into two with the creation of locks at this location, and a bridge was built to carry traffic cross the lake at this location as well. The reason locks were built in the middle of the lake is because raising the water level of the lake slightly made it easier for the canal to be built in nearby Newboro, by reducing the amount of rock that had to be cut through to make the canal. The first known bridge at this location was a wooden swing bridge dating to 1867. In 1964, an 1898 swing bridge from relocated here to replace the wooden swing bridge. This 1898 swing bridge is the bridge seen today. The bridge came from Beveridges when a fixed bridge was built there in 1961.

The swing bridge is noteworthy as an early example of a rivet-connected swing bridge. The swing is bobtailed, and a concrete counterweight is present at the short end of the bridge. The truss does show signs of alteration, as a number of rivets have been replaced with bolts.

The bridge is also noteworthy as a hand-turned swing bridge that remains in operation today. Most movable bridges are operated by electrical machinery, but this bridge is operated by hand. A bridge tender takes a special bar and inserts it into a hole in the deck, which connects it to a rod which in turn is connected to the gearing system for the bridge. Then, by walking the bar around in circles, the bridge is operated. Hand-turned swing bridges were once common long ago, particularly for bridges in rural areas, or for bridges that were not operated frequently. Hand-turned swing bridges that still operate for boats today are exceedingly rare today.

This bridge has the distinction of being the first hand-turned swing bridge on HistoricBridges.org to be photographed and video recorded in operation. Be sure to view the videos and photo gallery to see the bridge in motion.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Narrows Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
Bridge Opening
Full Motion Video
Video showing this hand-turned swing bridge in operation. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Bridge Closing
Full Motion Video
Video showing this hand-turned swing bridge in operation. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
CarCam: Southbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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Maps and Links: Narrows Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
44.702940,-76.295900

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