October 30, 2020
The City of Guelph, Ontario, selected a handsome new Algonquin Bowstring Truss Bridge to replace an old single-lane Bailey Bridge on Niska Road that had been closed for almost two years. The new 40 m span allows for two lanes of traffic, along with a wide cantilevered footwalk that handles the area’s increased pedestrian traffic due to expanded transit service and recreational trails.
City of Guelph earns OPWA Project of the Year Award for Niska Road Bridge >>
VIDEO: Take a 360° video tour of this project >>
Prefabricated Truss Bridges: classic style and heavy-duty loading
Prefabricated Truss Bridges from Algonquin Bridge offer a perfect bridge solution to meet spans up to 75 m. These popular accelerated bridge construction solutions are go-to choices for municipalities, counties, railways and transportation authorities seeking heavy-duty bridges with old-style aesthetics.
Bridge also featured a fenced wildlife crossing underneath
In addition to the second vehicular lane and multi-use pathway, the bridge replacement project also brought several other improvements to the area, including traffic-calming roadway features, better drainage, added river-trail parking and a fenced, under-the-roadway crossing for amphibians and small animals.
A bridge with a long and interesting history
Niska Road is sometimes used as a shortcut over the Speed River between southwest Guelph and the Township of Puslinch. An original wooden bridge collapsed in 1974 and was replaced by the temporary Bailey Bridge, on loan from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. “Temporary” turned into over 40 years of service until the bridge and abutments were finally deemed no longer safe and the crossing was closed in February of 2017. The Bailey Bridge was torn down by a combat engineer regiment as part of a training opportunity in 2018.
Once the City made the decision to go with an Algonquin Bowstring Truss Bridge, the Algonquin Bridge team worked closely with the contractor, Sierra Bridge, and provided clear communication to help all parties stay on top of costs and schedules. Sierra’s Construction Supervisor, Eric Carriere, offered these comments: “We were happy to work on this landmark project with Algonquin Bridge. A lot of effort went into it by all parties, and Algonquin Bridge was helpful in coaching us through the assembly – it went together like a glove. We look forward to more successful projects in the future!”
At the grand opening, Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie spoke about the success of the new bridge’s classic design and added walkway: “It’s really a good throwback for heritage… It’s an acknowledgement of the environment surrounding this bridge. And it makes sure that we’re, obviously, keeping people safe.”