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Blackfriars Bridge Send-off Event

Community members and heritage representatives joined the Blackfriars Bridge Rehabilitation project team on the west side of the construction site to say farewell temporarily to a bridge that served them well for more than 140 years.

During the celebration, attendees had the opportunity to take photos with the lattice railing, a salvageable bridge element removed for rehabilitation, and to learn about rehabilitation process. 

“Blackfriars Bridge has survived well beyond its expected life,” says Doug MacRae, Manager, Transportation, Planning and Design at the City of London. “After emergency repairs were completed on the bridge in 2013 and 2016, action needed to be taken now to protect the historical assets involved.”

The rehabilitation process includes the removal of non-structural components, the lifting of bridge, careful dismantling and transportation to an off-site facility for its rehabilitation before it is reinstalled in 2018.

As part of the rehabilitation, key structural elements will be strengthened to ensure its longevity.

“The project team has taken a responsible and thoughtful approach to bring this rare structure into compliance with current design requirements while recognizing and retaining as much of the heritage attributes as possible,” says MacRae.

The bridge lift will be a continuous operation once it is started and may include working into the night. The lift is to take place in late November with limited areas available for safe viewing. The City of London will be sharing ongoing updates to keep the public informed on the status of the project and releasing video footage immediately following the lift to ensure all citizens have the opportunity to experience the lift away from the construction zone.

Blackfriars Bridge is an individually heritage-designated property under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. Blackfriars Bridge is included on the Ontario Heritage Bridge List, a list of provincially significant bridge structures. In 2016, Blackfriars Bridge was recognized as a National Historic Civil Engineering Site by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. 

Heritage conservation is an integral part of London’s strategic focus of Building a Sustainable City. This includes managing and upgrading transportation including heritage bridges through the Heritage Bridge Preservation Strategy and protecting and celebrating London’s heritage for current and future generations.

Below is a photo of the community gathered on the west side of the Blackfriars Bridge construction site.

blackfriars community gathered at bridge construction site










Photo Credit: MJ Idzerda

Below is a photo of Dr. Michael Barlett, Vice Chair of the National History Committee of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineerin, speaking about the history of Blackfriars Bridge.

Mike Barlett speaking at blackfriars sendoff event




 Photo Credit: MJ Idzerda

Below is a photo of Doug MacRae, Manager of Transportation, Planning and Design at the City of London describing the bridge removal process.

doug macrae discussing bridge removal process



Photo Credit: MJ Idzerda