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Caledonia Bridge

   
                  


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Caledonia Bridge
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Bridge Documented: January 2007
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
! Caledonia Bridge
Argyle Street Over Grand River Caledonia: Haldimand County, Ontario Concrete Rainbow Through Arch, Fixed 1927 By Builder/Contractor: Randolph MacDonald Company of Toronto, Ontario
Technical Facts
Rehabilitation Date Main Span Length Structure Length Roadway Width Main Spans
1984 72.58 Feet (22.12 Meters) 700 Feet (213.4 Meters) 42 Feet (12.8 Meters) 9

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

This Bridge's Future Is At Risk!

This nationally significant heritage bridge is slated for demolition and replacement!

View The Official Demolition and Replacement Website

View The Grand River Watershed Heritage Bridge Inventory Report For This Bridge

The Caledonia Bridge is one of the most significant and impressive bridges in Canada. The bridge is recognized as the longest rainbow arch bridge in Ontario. It may be the longest bridge of its type in all of Canada, thanks to its unparalleled number of spans. Rainbow arch bridges are often also called bowstring through arch bridges. The bridge's structural material is reinforced concrete. The spans of this bridge are large, compared to many other rainbow arch bridges in Ontario, and they tower over the average sized car. In addition to their height, the Caledonia Bridge is equally impressive in terms of its quantity of spans, and its total length, which make this an impressive and graceful structure without compare. The bridge also is unaltered from its original design and thus has good historic integrity. It is a key landmark for Caledonia and this heritage bridge should receive the highest preservation priority.

 The site of the current Caledonia Bridge has a long history of being the location of an impressive and noteworthy bridge. In fact, the existing bridge replaced a bridge which was itself rather significant, a large, six example of a Whipple Arch truss that was built in 1875. Each of those spans were 105 feet (32 Meters) in length. A large brick toll-keepers residence was also built near the north end of this bridge. This toll house remains in place today. At least one portion of this 1875 bridge collapsed due to overloading by a truck in 1925, prompting an interest in seeking construction of a new bridge which would lead to construction of the existing rainbow arch. This bridge was built in 1927 by Randolph MacDonald Company of Toronto, Ontario. The engineer for the structure was A. B. Crealock from Ontario Department of Public Highways.

As unbelievable as it may be, this landmark heritage bridge is slated for demolition and replacement. The loss of this bridge would not only deprive the local community of a unique landmark, it would deprive all of Canada of heritage bridge that has no equal. While other bridges of this structure type remain elsewhere in Canada, most are no more than two spans in length, and certainly not the impressive nine spans seen with this bridge! Ironically, the only other bridge that even comes close to this bridge is the seven span bridge in Waterloo Region which is also over the Grand River and ironically has been rehabilitated. Surely the Caledonia Bridge is worthy of the same! The replacement bridge is being advertised as a "signature" bridge. However, the replacement bridge will be devoid of any heritage value. Only through the preservation of the existing bridge can the heritage value continue to exist. Moreover, it is the experience of HistoricBridges.org that modern bridges are incapable of offering the level of beauty, particularly in terms of intricate detailing, than any heritage bridge. What should be done here? This bridge could be preserved for continued two-way vehicular use. A second one-way bridge could be constructed to form a one-way couplet of bridges to increase traffic capacity. Or, a new two-way bridge could be built next to the existing bridge and the existing heritage bridge could be preserved for pedestrian use. With all these sorts of alternatives available, there really is no reason to demolish this bridge. As such, the demolition of this bridge would only be a short-sighted waste of history and beauty.

More information is available in this book.

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Photos and Videos: Caledonia Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
View Photo Gallery Original / Full Size Gallery
Original / Full Size Photos
For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents selected overview and detail photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

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