This bridge is similar in design to the KH-21 Bridge, although this bridge is much older than KH-21 with its 1936 construction date. As such, this bridge has a much higher level of heritage value.
The bridge is a two-lane bridge with a cantilevered sidewalk on the northern side. The railings are standard Ontario lattice style, with half of the lattice being composed of angle, which adds strength as compared to the all bar lattice common on bridges in the United States. A typical period detail which is intact on this bridge is that the railings are only present on the extreme edges of the bridge. This means that railing is present on the sidewalk of the bridge, and on the southern truss, but not on the northern truss. Railings back when this bridge was built were just to keep travelers from ending up in the river, preventing damage to the trusses was not a concern. As part of a rehabilitation, it would be possible to add crash-tested barriers, while retaining the original lattice railing behind, to maintain the historic integrity of the bridge while also protecting the trusses from vehicular impact.
Despite the fact that this bridge's deterioration is not severe and would be feasible to rehabilitate, this bridge is slated for demolition and replacement. The bridge's heritage value was not even given consideration. This is a result of the fact that no comprehensive province-wide inventory of heritage bridges has been conducted. Based on the bridges HistoricBridges.org has visited, this bridge is fairly rare today in Ontario as a 1930s truss bridge that is also free of alteration. It should be considered a heritage bridge. Sadly, even if it was a designated heritage bridge it is unlikely the bridge would have been preserved. Ontario has a terrible preservation record for preservation of heritage bridges. There of course are some exceptions, and indeed nearby London is one such example where several bridges have been preserved. These should have served as inspiration to preserve this bridge as well. One of the problems is that hired consulting engineers have expertise in new bridge construction, but lack ability to design a quality rehabilitation that is also not over-priced. They often claim it is costly to preserve bridges like this and that they have reached the "end of their service life" which is nonsense. A quick trip to the United Kingdom will show that service life of rehabilitated and maintained metal bridges can be measured in centuries, not decades. This bridge could have and should have been preserved. It may not be as wide as a brand new bridge, but it is wide enough to have two lanes and a shoulder, and it is capably of safely carrying traffic at the reduced speeds expected of a road entering an urban residential area.
The proposed replacement bridge is a pre-stressed concrete box beam bridge. Translation: a slab of concrete. Instead of the beautiful geometry of trusses that rise above the roadway, travelers and area residents will be forced to look at a hideous slab of concrete that has no visual appeal whatsoever, and of course also lacks heritage value.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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