Skip to main content

Caledonia Bridge - Caledonia, Ontario


The Caledonia Bridge, also known as the Argyle Street Bridge, is the longest rainbow arch bridge in the Province of Ontario. Spanning 700 feet across, the Caledonia Bridge includes an impressive nine arches. Opened to traffic on November 19, 1927, the bridge crosses the scenic Grand River in the Haldimand County town of Caledonia.  Caledonia Bridge was the first, and is now the only nine span bridge in Canada. The arches along the bridge tower over most passing vehicles. King's Highway 6 also once crossed this bridge, before the Caledonia Bypass was opened in 1982.

The site where the current Caledonia Bridge is located has a long history of being the location of a noteworthy bridge. In fact, the existing bridge replaced a large, six arch Whipple Arch truss bridge that was built in 1875 along the old Plank Road between Port Dover and Hamilton. Each of those spans were 105 feet (32 meters) in length. A large brick toll keepers residence was also built near the north end of this bridge. The Caledonia Toll House was also completed in 1875. Built by the Caledonia Town Council, the toll house was constructed to collect tolls to cross the Grand River using Caledonia's old Iron Bridge. While tolls were no longer collected at this bridge after 1890, the toll house is now a private residence, remaining true to its Gothic Victorian architecture. At least one portion of the 1875 bridge in Caledonia collapsed due to overloading by a truck in 1925, which prompted interest in constructing a new bridge, leading to construction of the existing rainbow arch bridge.

Built by the Randolph MacDonald Company of Toronto, Ontario, the bridge was completed in a record 140 working days, a feat both in 1927 and today as well. The existing nine span concrete arch bridge that carries Argyle Street across the Grand River in Caledonia is considered to be a heritage bridge and structure. However, time has taken its toll and the bridge is now posted with weight restrictions for crossing vehicles. This also means that the Caledonia Bridge is not long for this world, as there is a project study in place as of 2019 in order to replace the historic nine arched rainbow arch bridge with a steel arch bridge.

I visited the Caledonia Bridge on two occasions, in 2005 and 2010. This heritage bridge (in Ontario, they use the term heritage instead of historic for these sorts of sites) is truly unique and worth visiting if you happen to be in the area. Here are some photos that I have took of the bridge and its surroundings.










How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Caledonia Bridge - HistoricBridges.org
Old Highway 6, Caledonia - Alps' Roads
The King's Highway 6 - TheKingsHighway.ca
Heritage and Culture - Caledonia Ontario
The Toll House - Canada's Historic Places
Replacement of the Argyle Street Grand River Bridge in Caledonia - Argyle Street Bridge Replacement

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…