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Winterbourne Bridge

Winterbourne Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 21, 2012 and September 26, 2015

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Peel Street Over Grand River
Woolwich Township: Waterloo Region, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1913 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
154 Feet (46.9 Meters)
Structure Length
311 Feet (94.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
14 Feet (4.27 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This impressive bridge is a very rare example of a multi-span truss bridge as well as a pin-connected Camelback truss in Ontario. The bridge has excellent historic integrity with no major alterations, adding to its significance. Aside from some minor pack rust and section loss noted around some of the bottom chord connections, the bridge's trusses remain in decent condition, however there is no paint to protect the steel of the truss from future deterioration. A substantial build-up of dirt was noted around the bearings of the bridge. A simple program of bridge washing where a truck is brought to the bridge to wash the dirt off the bridge with a hose is a low-cost maintenance effort that can  go a long way to preventing section loss to the all-important steel of the bridge. Also, while more costly, a comprehensive rehabilitation of this bridge to address section loss, and to blast clean and paint the truss superstructure would prepare this bridge for another century of service.

In assessing the heritage significance of bridges in the Waterloo Region, a scoring system outlined in the 1991 Ontario Heritage Bridge Program developed by the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Culture was employed. In general, this rating system works quite well. It evaluates most of the aspects of a heritage bridge that give it value, such as historic integrity, rarity of design, aesthetic value, function as a community gateway or landmark, etc. However, it occasionally does display some flaws. The Winterbourne Bridge is one of two particularly good examples, the other being the nearby Conestogo Bridge. While common sense observation of the Winterbourne Bridge would suggest that the bridge is an exceedingly rare example of a multi-span pin-connected truss bridge in Ontario, and an equally rare example of a multi-span Camelback truss in Ontario, when the Ontario Heritage Bridge Program rating system is applied to the bridge the score is only 52, barely qualifying as a heritage bridge. In reviewing the score for this bridge, HistoricBridges.org believes the Ontario Heritage Bridge Program rating system does not give enough consideration to the enhanced significance of a multi-span truss bridge.  Longer structures indicate a greater engineering achievement, and they tend to be less common than shorter examples. Additionally, The Ontario Heritage Bridge Program rating system also does not assign additional points for the specific presence of pin connections on truss bridges, despite that fact that rivet-connected truss bridges vastly outnumber pin-connected truss bridges in Ontario. The Ontario Heritage Bridge Program rating system is a useful tool, since it does cover many of the elements that make a bridge significant and the process used to evaluate bridges is relatively straightforward and simple. However, perhaps future improvements to these apparent shortcomings in the rating system could make the rating system even more effective and useful.

Information and Findings From Waterloo Region Heritage Bridge Inventory

Waterloo Region Assigned Heritage Ratings:

Overall Score: 52. (Heritage Bridge scores range from 50 up to generally 78)

Not Listed in Top Ten Waterloo Region Heritage Bridge List.

View Heritage Bridge Inventory Data Sheets


Photo Galleries and Videos: Winterbourne Bridge

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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
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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
Eastbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Westbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: Winterbourne Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

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