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Hunter Street Bridge

Asburnham Bridge

Hunter Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 23, 2012

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Hunter Street Over Otonabee River
Peterborough: Peterborough County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Closed Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1921 By Builder/Contractor: Russell-Townsend Company and Engineer/Design: Frank Barber of Toronto, Ontario
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
234.0 Feet (71.3 Meters)
Structure Length
900.0 Feet (274.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
33.3 Feet (10.15 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 10 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is one of the most significant concrete arch bridges in Ontario. The bridge features ornate railings and lamp standards as well as a beautiful large central open spandrel arch span, flanked at each end by a series of shorter arch spans.

Noted concrete bridge designed Frank Barber hired a well-known architect, Claude Fayette Bragdon to assist in the aesthetics of the bridge. When completed the bridge set records for the length of its main span. One source reports that this main span arch is unreinforced, and that this was the longest unreinforced arch in the world. It is highly unusual for a concrete bridge of this size to be unreinforced.

The Hunter Street crossing is an old one. The first bridge, a three span wooden bridge was replaced in 1847 with a wooden Howe truss. This in turn was replaced by a cast iron bridge which collapsed in 1875. It was replaced by a wrought iron bridge, which was demolished to make way for the existing arch bridge.

This bridge is fortunately being preserved and in 2012 a massive rehabilitation project was still underway on this bridge. Due to the extensive construction work on the bridge, HistoricBridges.org only has a distant photo of this bridge from a railway bridge south of the structure.


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