The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) has retained MMM Group Limited to undertake the Detailed Design and Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the replacement of the Argyle Street Bridge over the Grand River in Caledonia
Built in 1927, the structure is now posted with weight restrictions for vehicles crossing the bridge. Provincial Class EA approval for its replacement was obtained in the Fall of 2009, following a thorough evaluation of rehabilitation and replacement alternatives.
This study will build upon the information collected during the Preliminary Design phase and will include: Design of a new “signature” steel arch bridge; Landscaping and Heritage Setting Enhancements; and
Traffic staging and detours to facilitate construction staging.
External agency and public consultation will take place throughout the study. Upon completion, a Design and Construction Report (DCR) will be prepared and published for a 30-day public review period.
A crossing of the Grand River at Argyle Street has been in place for over 160 years. The first bridge was a six-span wooden structure erected in 1843 to provide unimpeded passage on the plank road between Hamilton and Port Dover.
In 1875, a six-span iron bridge replaced the timber bridge, which was regularly washed away by rising water and swift currents. At that time, a brick Gothic Revival house was built northeast of the new bridge for the bridge’s toll keeper. Tolls were collected at the bridge until about 1890, and the tollhouse remains in its original location today.
Following the collapse of a middle span of the iron bridge in 1925, construction of the current bridge crossing the Grand River at Argyle Street was completed in 1927.
In recognition of its importance within the community, its distinctive and graceful design, and its age and rarity as one of the few remaining concrete bowstring arch bridges in the province, the bridge is listed with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport as a Heritage Structure.
In 1984, the bridge was rehabilitated with conventional concrete patch repairs to various structural members including the arch hangers and the floor and tie beams. However, in 2001, during a regular biennial inspection conducted by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), it was determined that the bridge was deteriorating.