Niska Road Bailey bridge to be reused in Canadian Armed Forces exercise

Guelph, Ont., January 31, 2018 – The Bailey bridge on Niska Road will be making a return to its roots. The bridge will be removed and reused by the Canadian Armed Forces for a training exercise.

The Niska Road bridge, which will be replaced as part of the Niska Road improvements planned for 2019, will be removed by the Canadian Armed Forces over a four-day period in March. Site preparation will begin March 12, with the building removal exercise taking place 24-hours a day, Friday, March 16 through Monday, March 19.

“The City is excited to see the bridge return to the Canadian Armed Forces,” says Ken VanderWal, Project Engineer with the City of Guelph. “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.”

According to the City’s Heritage Impact Assessment, Bailey bridges were originally created for military use in the Second World War. The wood and steel bridge parts were light weight and easy to assemble in different configurations on the battle field. Each piece, known as a Bailey panel, could then be taken apart and moved elsewhere. At the end of the war, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation collected old panels for municipalities to use as needed, and is where the Niska Road Bailey bridge comes from.

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.

In December the City held an open house to present the community with three bridge replacement options. Based on feedback the bowstring arch truss bridge option was favoured by more than half of people commenting on the options. The City is reviewing the bridge options and community feedback, and will make an announcement on the type of bridge when a decision has been reached.

Resources

Niska Road improvements
Niska Bridge Heritage Impact Assessment
Niska Road open house materials
Niska Road open house results

Media Contact

Ken VanderWal P.Eng., Project Engineer
Engineering and Capital Infrastructure Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2319
ken.vanderwal@guelph.ca

For inquiries about the Canadian Armed Forces exercise, contact:

Lt.-Col. Blair Ashford
Commanding Officer, 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins)
Canadian Armed Forces
519-631-3316 extension 7503
blair.ashford@forces.gc.ca