Niska Road bridge closed February 28

Niska Road bridge closed to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

Guelph, Ont., February 13, 2017—Due to safety concerns about structural integrity, the Niska Road bridge is being closed indefinitely to all traffic including drivers, pedestrian and cyclists. Signs alerting travelers to the closure will be posted on February 14. Barriers will be installed on both sides of the bridge on the morning of Tuesday, February 28.

UPDATE, March 21, 2017—The City has received the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glenn Murray’s, decision that a higher level of environmental assessment (EA) is not needed to move forward with the reconstruction of Niska Road and replacement of the bridge. The bridge will remain closed until construction of the new bridge is complete in 2019.

All updates related to this closure will be posted here. 

Map shows area where Niska Road bridge closedGetting around

Those travelling to points west of the bridge can access Niska Road va Wellington Road 124 and Whitelaw Road

Those travelling to points east of the bridge can access Niska Road via Downey Road or via Laird Road and Pioneer Trail

About the closure

The City is closing the Niska Road bridge indefinitely due to safety concerns about the bridge’s condition and the unstable effects that high spring water flows and high rainfall events can have on the bridge’s main support structures (abutments).

City staff and contract engineers have been completing increased inspections of the bridge since a poor inspection report in 2013. These inspections are done to observe deterioration and determine the need for repairs to maintain safe travel conditions over the bridge.

Pedestrians and cyclists are at as high a risk as drivers because the nature of the deterioration is structural and not connected to the use of the bridge itself. High or fast water flows can damage or lead to deterioration of the bridge’s support structures.

The bridge was closed to replace deck boards in April 2015. These surface repairs allowed the City to keep the bridge open for almost two more years. These repairs were not aimed at addressing concerns about the long-term structural integrity of the bridge, which the City has continued to monitor. The structural issues cannot be addressed through repair and would require replacement of the abutments.


Read the news release about plans for a two-lane bridge

Niska Road bridge structural engineering inspection report 2012 [PDF  9MB]
Niska Road bridge structural engineering inspection report 2013 [PDF 9MB]
Niska Road bridge structural engineering inspection report 2014 [PDF 12MB]
Niska Road bridge structural engineering inspection report May 2016 [PDF 8MB]
Niska Road bridge structural engineering inspection report October 2016 [PDF 15MB]

To report concerns with or damage to signs or barriers, please visit our Damaged sign information page.

For more information

Ken Vanderwal, Project Engineer
Engineering and Transportation Services
519-822-1260 x 2319
[email protected]