Monday, September 09, 2013

Sneath Road bridge revisited

One of the bridges I visited this weekend was Sneath Road bridge in Bolton. It features a sweet one-lane pony truss bridge. Sneath Road was closed to traffic in, I believe, 2008, so this bridge was in action for nearly a century before its condition was deemed unsafe for vehicular traffic (and, technically, pedestrian traffic, though it's pretty clear they never stopped using it).

This is one of those rare, but increasingly common, success stories. Rather than destroy the bridge and replace it with something modern, the Town of Caledon opted to refurbish this bridge for the use of pedestrians and cyclists. It officially re-opened last winter.

I was out there three years ago with P-Doug, shooting the bridge in the event that the town changed its mind and decided to replace it. But, as you can see, it didn't, and the bridge is still there and looks like it will be for a long time yet. Pony truss bridges like this were nearly an icon of southern Ontario until the 1960s. There are a few left, and increasingly, they're being cherished and restored rather than scrapped.

Incidentally, the same little community, Bolton, has yet another one-lane pony truss bridge not too far north on the same river (the Humber), and it's still in everyday use for vehicular traffic. I meant to photograph it on the same trip, but time constraints suggested to me that it's a project for another weekend as the summer winds down.

Here are some shots comparing views of this bridge at its lowest ebb, and now its triumphant return.

Approaching the bridge in summer, 2010.

Same view in summer, 2013.



Closed to everyone, summer, 2010.

Re-opened to pedestrians again. Summer, 2013.

New safety features, 2013.

Looking south across the bridge to a closed, but paved, section of Sneath Road; summer, 2010.

Similar view: now a gravel footpath, 2013.

Northward approach to the bridge, summer, 2010.

Similar view in 2013.

2013 view showing the new decking and added side timbers.

Side view of the bridge in 2010.

Similar view in 2013. Restorative work on the underside and decking quite obvious.

No comments: