Full circle: Niska Road bridge to be returned to military
A car makes its way over the one-lane Niska Road bridge in Guelph on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (Dan Lauckner / CTV Kitchener)
Published Friday, February 2, 2018 5:09PM EST
While work on a new Niska Road bridge moves ahead, it’s now known what will happen to the existing bridge.
In mid-March, Canadian Armed Forces personnel will move in and take down the bridge, then reuse it for training purposes.
This will bring the bridge full circle, as it is a Bailey bridge – a type of bridge which was created for military training in the Second World War and later distributed to municipalities.
Some components of the bridge will remain with the city, which plans to repurpose them and keep them in the community, although their exact use has not been determined.
The City of Guelph closed the bridge last year due to concerns about its structural stability.
Work to design a replacement bridge has been underway since then. The new bridge will be two lanes, unlike the current one-lane bridge, and will include a separate pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.
Various designs were presented to members of the public for feedback in December, with the majority of people asked preferring a bowstring arch truss bridge.
Residents were split on whether traffic-calming measures on Niska should be increased, with 45 per cent of respondents wanting to see either speed cushions or speed bars, while 42 per cent felt no further action was necessary.
Less divisive was a question about whether more should be done to keep trucks off Niska. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said they wanted to see more enforcement of the truck ban, while 35 per cent pushed for an overhead barrier to block trucks and eight per cent favoured a system that could detect large vehicles.