A bridge which has been closed to the public for more than a year is about to come down.

The City of Guelph says preparations for removal of the Niska Road bridge will start next Monday, with the bridge itself coming down on the weekend of March 17-18.

It will be removed by the 31 Combat Engineer Regiment military reserve unit. City officials say people in the area will see the reservists in combat uniforms, although they will not be carrying any weapons or using any explosives.

The bridge will be reused by the Canadian Armed Forces for training purposes. Its first purpose was for military training during the Second World War, after which it – like other Bailey bridges – was sent to a municipality interested in using it.

Concerns about the structural stability of the bridge led to it being closed last year.

The one-lane bridge will eventually be replaced by a two-lane span, which will include a separate pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.