Today, the Corporation of the City of London joined with the Hamilton Road Community Association, the Friends of Meadowlily Woods Community Association and the London Advisory Council on Heritage to celebrate the re-opening of Meadowlily Footbridge.
Meadowlily Footbridge had been closed to traffic since April of 2013, when major rehabilitation work was commenced. The scope of the work completed included removal of the existing concrete and timber decking and installation of a full-width timber deck, repairs to the concrete abutment and structural steel trusses, sandblasting and repainting, upgrades to lighting and improvements to the landscaping around the bridge. In addition, both the north and the south approaches to the bridge were revamped to tie into the Thames Valley Parkway system.
Mayor Fontana believes the City's investment in the bridge work is significant on many levels. He says," The bridge connects people to their neighbourhood and their neighbours. It allows residents and visitors to experience a walk through a part of our city that is unlike any other and the overwhelming support for this project and the reopening speaks to how important the Meadowlily Bridge is."
Meadowlily Bridge was constructed in 1910 by the Hamilton Bridge Company, and spans the Thames River, connecting the north and south legs of Meadowlily Road. Its original intent was to provide Middlesex County farmers south of the Thames River access to the Meadowlily Mill on the north side. It was closed to vehicular traffic in 1965 and since that time has had various repairs completed. In 2007, it was highlighted as a structure in immediate need of repair, and reduced to only a single narrow lane for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We are ecstatic to return this bridge to its fully functional intended use, able to retain its heritage aspects while meeting structural design requirements of the current bridge code,” says John Braam, Director of Engineering and City Engineer. “This structure not only maintains a valuable link to our city’s heritage, but provides a valuable active transportation connection between our local neighbourhoods as identified in our 2030 Smart Moves Transportation Master Plan.”
On October 9, 2012, London City Council designated the Meadowlily Footbridge as a Heritage Structure under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.