October 1, 2012
Covered bridge north of Waterloo, Ontario closed
The Regional Municipality of Waterloo has restricted vehicle and buggy traffic on a 132-year-old structure described as the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario.
The West Montrose covered bridge, built in 1881 over the Grand River, is about seven kilometres east of Elmira about 20 kilometres north of downtown Waterloo.
"A floor beam that supports a portion of the bridge deck has failed likely due to overloading by heavy vehicles, despite weight restrictive signage," the regional government stated in a press release. "Accordingly, the Region is taking precautionary measures to restrict traffic until a repair can be made, which could take up to a couple of weeks."
According to the register of historic places on the Parks Canada website, the West Montrose Covered Bridge is the second oldest surviving bridge in the Region of Waterloo. Designed by John Bear, it was built in 1881.
"Originally, the bridge was constructed solely of wood,” according to the website. “Over the course of more than a century, a number of improvements have been made to maintain the function and integrity of the bridge. The bridge materials today are a mix of wood, stone, asphalt, concrete and steel.”
Features include wood exterior sheathing and interior panelling, louvered window openings and a shingled gable roof.
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