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Beckwith Street Bridge

Beckwith Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 20, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Beckwith Street (KH-15) Over Rideau River
Location
Smiths Falls: Lanark County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Stone Segmental Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

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

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Driving over this bridge, it appears as though you are on a modern bridge, with its ugly standard concrete barriers and wide roadway. However, looking underneath reveals an ancient and much more narrow stone arch bridge. The bridge is a two-span stone arch bridge. The modern deck was cantilevered off of the edges of the stone arch, allowing for a wider roadway, while maintaining the dimensions of the original bridge. The original stone arch bridge would have to be very well-built and strong to handle the additional dead loads that a wider deck can support in addition to the heavy traffic it carries. Because the bridge is substantially altered, and its aesthetic qualities are also diminished by the modern deck the bridge is not as noteworthy as it could be otherwise. However, the arch itself, below the deck, appears to be largely unaltered and it has to be acknowledged that stone arch bridges of any integrity are rare in Ontario.

Interpretive signage by the bridge comments that Beckwith Street as originally laid out was very wide for its time (note the space between the old downtown buildings). However, the bridge, as originally built, was narrow. Its modern width actually matches up better with the wide appearance of the downtown street. Even by today's standards Beckwith Street downtown is fairly wide, with cars able to park on an angle rather than parallel on the street.

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