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Canadian Armed Forces to repurpose Niska Road bridge for exercise

Niska Road bridge abutment. Source City of Guelph

Canadian Armed Forces to repurpose Niska Road bridge for exercise

GUELPH - City officials have announced the Bailey bridge on Niska Road will be removed next month during a Canadian Armed Forces training exercise.

The bridge, located near the Guelph-Puslinch-Guelph/Eramosa border, will be replaced as part of Niska Road improvements planned for 2019.

Site preparation will begin March 12, with the “building removal exercise” taking place 24-hours a day March 16 to 19.

“The city is excited to see the bridge return to the Canadian Armed Forces,” stated Guelph engineer Ken VanderWal in a press release.

“This is a fantastic nod to the bridge’s former history of serving our military, and we are pleased that sections will be returned to us for reuse in the community.”

Bailey bridges are pre-fabricated wood and steel struss structures developed by the British during the Second World War and used extensively by Allied forces. They were popular due to lightweight parts that facilitated easy assembly in various configurations.

The Guelph press release states the Niska Road structure was one of many assembled following the war, when the Ministry of Transportation collected old panels for municipal use.

“The city is still deciding what to do with the bridge components that will be returned for use but has confirmed that pieces will be repurposed in some capacity for enjoyment by the community for many more decades to come,” Guelph officials say.

In December, the majority of people at a public meeting favoured replacing the old structure with a bowstring arch truss. City officials are reviewing bridge options and feedback before choosing the bridge type and design.

February 2, 2018


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