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Red Bridge

Red Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 26, 2015

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Southgate Melancthon Townline Over Grand River
Melancthon Township and Southgate Township: Dufferin County, Ontario and Grey County, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
84 Feet (25.6 Meters)
Structure Length
84 Feet (25.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
19.7 Feet (6 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Bridge Status: 2019: Eric May reports that this bridge has been blocked to through traffic with Jersey barriers and gravel piles.

View Heritage Bridge Inventory Sheet For This Bridge

This heritage bridge was closed to all traffic only a few weeks after it was photographed by HistoricBridges.org. Its future is now uncertain and it may be at risk for demolition, despite the fact that pin-connected truss bridges represent one of the the oldest and rarest types of heritage bridge in Canada. Prior to closure, it was posted with a 12 tonne weight limit. Bridges of this type often were designed for roughly around 15 tonnes, and that being the case, the previous posting suggests that overall the bridge has not deteriorated heavily, but that a sudden isolated problem is of concern. It may be related to the concrete abutments. It may also be related to the condition of the pins; the pins are not in original condition. Some are actually crudely welded to the eyebars, which is neither appropriate (because the eyebar/pin interface is not meant to be a solid/rigid connection) or original.

The history of this crossing is unclear, although what is clear is that an interesting story is here, based on the clues present on-site. First, note that the Heritage Bridge Inventory gives a 1920 construction date for this bridge. As seen today, this bridge sits on concrete abutments, but directly in front of these abutments are older unused abutments that have a 1909 date cast into them. In other words, in 1909, abutments were constructed to hold a shorter bridge span, and then (presumably in 1920) new abutments were constructed to hold this longer truss span that was erected here. Given that 1920 is an extremely late construction date for a pin-connected truss bridge, it seems quite possible that the truss span seen here was moved from some other location and reused here in 1920, and that the truss itself may be older than 1920.

It appears that their used to be bracing knees for the overhead struts that were removed, as evidenced by unused holes on the vertical members.

As through truss spans go, this is a very short span. Given the striking rarity of pin-connected truss bridges in Ontario, this bridge should be considered to have a high level of heritage significance. If it is found to be insufficient for the road it serves, it would be a great candidate for relocation, restoration, and reuse on a trail system or in a park for pedestrian use.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Red Bridge

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