In the town of Bracebridge, Ontario, residents were bracing to say good-bye to their beloved historic landmark, the old McCutcheon Bridge. More than just a crossing, it was a bridge drenched in history and memories for the whole community. But the 1905 stone and concrete structure was showing the signs of more than a century of wear and it was time to replace it.
A change for the better
The old bridge needed a lot of upkeep in recent years and its narrow streambed opening was prone to cause flooding. The Town opted for an easy-to-instal Mabey Steel Bridge Compact 200 Modular Panel System from Algonquin. Its galvanized steel structure, anti-skid, epoxy aggregate decking and 27.4 m span all promise many years of trouble-free service.
Bridge installs in three days
Once the site was prepared with new abutments alongside the old bridge, a local construction crew installed the new bridge in just three days with very little traffic disruption. It was also installed without a crane by launching it from one side to the other — a sight that drew many curious onlookers. Algonquin Bridge provided a site advisor, and a customized construction and launching strategy.
Embracing a new era
Marveling at the speed and efficiency of the installation, those curious onlookers rallied around their new bridge — literally and figuratively — and have come to embrace it as the beginning of a new era. Gone but not forgotten, portions of the old bridge’s concrete railings have been saved for potential use as an onsite garden backdrop.
Mabey Compact 200 Bridge System
The Mabey Compact 200 Bridge System is the most popular pre-fabricated steel panel bridge system in the world. It is the latest development of Sir Donald Bailey’s original Bailey Bridge System that played a key part in Allied troop movements during the Second World War and in the reconstruction efforts that followed.
Project Name: McCutcheon Bridge Replacement
Location: Vankoughnet, Ontario
Owner: The Town of Bracebridge
Engineer: C.C. Tatham & Associates Ltd. cctatham.com
Contractor: Fowler Construction
Product: Mabey Compact 200 Modular Panel Bridge
Application: Permanent Stream Crossing
Dimensions: Length 27.4 m, Width 4.2 m