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Smooth Rock Falls Bridge

Smooth Rock Falls Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Ian Graham

Bridge Documented: March 19, 2020 and August 2021

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
KH-11 (Trans-Canada Highway) Over Mattagami River
Location
Smooth Rock Falls: Cochrane District, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1956 By Builder/Contractor: Foundation Company of Canada and N.H Nixon
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
300.0 Feet (91.4 Meters)
Structure Length
720.0 Feet (219.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is an extremely rare surviving example of a continuous through truss bridge in Ontario, and especially stands out as noteworthy in northern Ontario. The bridge features a 91.4 meter (300 foot) central span, with 64 meter (210) side spans. The use of a Pratt-style truss configuration is also exceedingly unusual for this type of bridge, Warren truss configurations are almost exclusively used for continuous through truss bridges.

The official opening for the bridge was in September 1958, costing $1,000,000 to complete. The piers of the bridge are reinforced with steel because the river was used for logging (loggers would float logs down the river toward their destination in large quantities). The portal bracing has been altered to increase vertical clearance. From the 1920s to 1956, the dam was used to cross across the Mattagami on Highway 11. When the dam started to show its age, they built a bailey bridge next to it, which was the longest in Ontario at the time, as a temporary bridge while the existing truss bridge was under construction. 

Photo Credit: Mathieu Martel

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