|Holland Mills Road Bridge||Truss||Oxford-Waterloo Road||Waterloo Region, ON||Rural||Nith River|
This bridge is a beautiful six panel pin connected Pratt through truss bridge. It features a wooden deck and pole railings. The bridge is seated on concrete abutments. This bridge appears to be in danger from what I could see when I visited the bridge. The north abutment is sinking on the west wingwall side. The result of this is that the truss bridge is slowly sinking at the northern end. This obviously is not a positive thing! The deck and deck stringers of the bridge must not be attached to the same thing as the truss bridge itself, because while the truss bridge has been sinking, the deck remains, and is now hovering above the bridge's floor beams at the north end. I was standing at the north end of the bridge, and the deck would bounce up and down. When a car crosses, the deck sinks back onto the floorbeam, and so the bridge still "works" when a vehicle crosses.
Pin connected metal truss bridges are not very common in Ontario, and so this is a very significant structure. The Waterloo Region appears to have an unusually large number of pin connected structures, and is unlike other Ontario Counties such as Lambton County. In my opinion, the preservation of all pin connected metal truss bridges in Ontario is essential. For each bridge, a number of options are available. A particular bridge could be restored to continue to carry light vehicular traffic. Another option is to bypass the bridge with a modern bridge and preserve the historic structure in its original location for pedestrian use. The third option is to relocate the bridge to a park setting for pedestrian use. While retaining the bridge's original location and function is most desirable, any of these options produce a happy outcome for a historic truss bridge. Either way, something needs to be done with this bridge before it is too late. From my perspective, it looks like the bridge should be lifted off of the abutments, so new abutments can be constructed. Then, the bridge could be sandblasted, painted, and placed on the new abutments where it could continue to carry the very light traffic present on Holland Mills Road.