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Tribune file photo

The closure is so that the city can install permanent height clearance signs and flashing beacons on the Wyndham Street CN Railway Bridge which has been crunched by several trucks due to clearance issues.

Bridge closed for $48,000 fixer upper

Wyndham Street will be closed to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians between Carden and Farquhar streets from Sunday July 6 at 7 a.m. to Monday July 7 at 6 p.m.

The closure is so that the city can install permanent height clearance signs and flashing beacons on the Wyndham Street CN Railway Bridge which has been crunched by several trucks due to clearance issues.

A signed detour using Macdonell Street and Wellington Street will be in place to get motorists around the closure, a news release said.

Pedestrian access will also be restricted under the Wyndham Street Bridge during this time. Pedestrians should use Wilson Street to access the downtown core.

Drivers are advised to follow signed detours or, if possible, avoid the area, the release said. For information about impacts to Guelph Transit service, visit

“Temporary height clearance signs and outreach to truck drivers and local businesses have proven effective measures for warning motorists of the bridge clearance,” Ike Umar, a project manager in the city’s engineering services department, said in the release.

Permanent height clearance signs and flashing beacons are replacing temporary signs that were placed in the roadway last October.

The cost for materials, electrical work and installation of two signs on the bridge and four signs leading up the bridge is $48,000, the release said.

A temporary “no heavy truck” designation for Wyndham Street between Carden and Fountain streets was put in place last Oct. 25 after several trucks scraped the crash beams protecting the Wyndham Street bridge. This designation was later lifted and replaced by a prohibition on drivers operating trucks with a height of 3.8 metres or more from going under the bridge.

City hall says it followed all CN Rail requirements and specifications when replacing the 100-year old CN bridge. The new bridge was part of the project to create Guelph Central Station, the city’s new transportation hub for city and intercity buses and for trains.

The larger bridge met all modern technical standards for current and future rail use, and it remained structurally sound despite incidents of trucks scraping the crash beams installed to protect the bridge, says a backgrounder supplied by city hall along with Thursday’s news release.

When the city upgraded the road under the bridge, adding sidewalks and bike lanes, the bridge was “designed to allow as much clearance as possible given the location of upgraded underground water, wastewater and utility infrastructure,” said the backgrounder.

“Following the initial incidents of trucks scraping the crash beams, the city’s consultant investigated and confirmed that the construction of the roadway and the bridge is correct,” it said.

Wyndham Street between Wellington to Carden streets was closed for the bridge replacement and associated reconstruction of the road, sewer and watermain from the spring of 2010 until the spring of 2012. The $8.4-million project budget was shared equally between the city and the provincial and federal governments as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan and the related Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the backgrounder said.

CN required the city to install crash beams on the new bridge. CN requires new rail bridges with clearances less than 5.3 metres to include crash beams.

“CN Rail requirements for rail-bridge loading required the city to revise the bridge design to require a deeper, and therefore lower, bridge structure. This revised design reduced the clearance under the bridge structure,” the backgrounder said. “In order to recover the most clearance, the road was lowered to the extent possible.”

The final paving work and the installation of the crash beams took place last fall from Sept. 30 to Oct. 10, and during this time Wyndham Street was closed from Carden to Farquhar. Before long, several incidents of transport trailer trucks scraping the crash beams were reported to Guelph Police.




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