Norwich Pedestrian Bridge

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Norwich Street Pedestrian Bridge reconstruction and rehabilitation

Arthur Street to Cardigan Street

Read the virtual open house presentation and provide your comments or ask questions below. For more information visit the project web page.

About the Norwich Street Bridge improvements

The City of Guelph completed a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study for proposed improvements to the deteriorating Norwich Street Bridge. The bridge crosses over the Speed River between Cardigan Street and Arthur Street North. The bridge is currently closed to vehicle traffic and serves as a pedestrian crossing.The EA study completed in 2017 determined the bridge will be maintained as a heritage structure with repairs to make it safe for future use.

This project involves the preservation of the heritage elements of the existing pedestrian bridge, while constructing a new self-supporting bridge to maintain safe public crossing of the Speed River into the future. The work includes removal of the closed non-heritage pedestrian bridge, cleaning and painting of the iron trusses of the heritage bridge, construction of a new self-supporting bridge between the heritage trusses, repairs to concrete elements, and reconfiguration of the east approach to the bridge.

Construction is expected to begin in September and will take approximately 3 months, weather permitting.




Norwich Street Pedestrian Bridge reconstruction and rehabilitation

Arthur Street to Cardigan Street

Read the virtual open house presentation and provide your comments or ask questions below. For more information visit the project web page.

About the Norwich Street Bridge improvements

The City of Guelph completed a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study for proposed improvements to the deteriorating Norwich Street Bridge. The bridge crosses over the Speed River between Cardigan Street and Arthur Street North. The bridge is currently closed to vehicle traffic and serves as a pedestrian crossing.The EA study completed in 2017 determined the bridge will be maintained as a heritage structure with repairs to make it safe for future use.

This project involves the preservation of the heritage elements of the existing pedestrian bridge, while constructing a new self-supporting bridge to maintain safe public crossing of the Speed River into the future. The work includes removal of the closed non-heritage pedestrian bridge, cleaning and painting of the iron trusses of the heritage bridge, construction of a new self-supporting bridge between the heritage trusses, repairs to concrete elements, and reconfiguration of the east approach to the bridge.

Construction is expected to begin in September and will take approximately 3 months, weather permitting.




CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Please review the presentation boards in the documents widget along the right hand side of the project page and ask us any question you may have about the project. We will do our best to answer within 3 business days. When we answer, your question and our answer will be displayed publicly. 

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    Question 1: The new load-bearing bridge is appealing with reservation. It seems over-designed. Has a primarily (engineered?) wood deck been considered - reducing self-weight, CO2 generation, cost, and more aptly preserving the character of the bridge? Including periodic deck replacement in the tender could lead to reduction in overall construction and maintenance costs for the City and better serve the environment. Question 2: How does new support structure for watermain and sanitary sewer lines conserve site character? Question 3: How is water drained off the bridge deck to alleviate reduced winter traction? Question 4: The Trail Barrier Gate shown is poorly located and seems unnecessary. The barriers at the train track ensures caution when crossing the track. That shown for the bridge will only force users into greater proximity. Bollards per EXG are more than adequate and better suited. Question 5: The chain link fence shown at the NW bridge corner makes little sense to me. Is the goal to prevent pedestrians from accessing the narrow trail near the top of the rip-rap - they will be able to step over the guardrail in the parking lot. Question 6: EXG wood stringers: Will they be reclaimed and/or made available to local builders? Question 7: Is a sketch of the downtown side of the bridge available - what is happening to the piece of guardrail extending from the upstream side of the bridge on this side of the river?

    4 months ago

    Question 1:        The new load-bearing bridge is appealing with reservation. It seems over-designed. Has a primarily (engineered?) wood deck been considered - reducing self-weight, CO2 generation, cost, and more aptly preserving the character of the bridge? Including periodic deck replacement in the tender could lead to reduction in overall construction and maintenance costs for the City and better serve the environment.

    Answer 1:           The bridge was designed in accordance with the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code, applicable regional standards and engineering judgement. Wood decks increase maintenance costs, which offset the lower initial capital costs. One of the design considerations was to minimize the height of the top of the new deck compared to the original truss structure. A wood deck would be considerably thicker in comparison to a concrete deck, and therefore, the concrete deck was selected.


    Question 2:        How does new support structure for watermain and sanitary sewer lines conserve site character?

    Answer 2:           The support structure for the watermain and sanitary sewer lines was designed to be as minimal as possible, while fitting within the geometrical limitations of the site.


    Question 3:        How is water drained off the bridge deck to alleviate reduced winter traction?

    Answer 3:           The bridge has been designed to drain water to the curbs at the sides of the bridge and then to either end of the bridge.


    Question 4:        The Trail Barrier Gate shown is poorly located and seems unnecessary. The barriers at the train track ensures caution when crossing the track. That shown for the bridge will only force users into greater proximity. Bollards per EXG are more than adequate and better suited.

    Answer 4:            The Trail Barrier Gate is used to help mark the end of the roadway and the start of the trail. With the gate closed, a 1.2 metre to 1.5 metre path is provided that allows pedestrians and cyclists through, but deters passenger vehicles. The barrier gate is a common system that is used throughout the City of Guelph for this purpose.


    Question 5:        The chain link fence shown at the NW bridge corner makes little sense to me. Is the goal to prevent pedestrians from accessing the narrow trail near the top of the rip-rap - they will be able to step over the guardrail in the parking lot.

    Answer 5:           The chain link fence located adjacent to the bridge deters the public from getting under the new bridge, as well as providing a barrier against falls into the river at the top of the existing retaining wall.


    Question 6:        EXG wood stringers: Will they be reclaimed and/or made available to local builders?

    Answer 6:           The existing wood stringers are not being salvaged.


    Question 7:        Is a sketch of the downtown side of the bridge available - what is happening to the piece of guardrail extending from the upstream side of the bridge on this side of the river?

    Answer 7:            The “downtown” or west side of the bridge will be similar in appearance to the east side of the bridge, with a new trail leading up to the bridge and chain link fence installed. The existing guardrail on the upstream side of the structure is being removed.

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    The following question was received by email: "It is designated as a pedestrian bridge but is it also designated for biking across? And will there be signage? Also wondering how long access will be closed?"

    4 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The reconstructed bridge will be for pedestrians and cyclists, without the need for designated signs.

    The Norwich Street Bridge will be closed throughout the reconstruction, which is estimated to last about 14 weeks.

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    Good to hear this bridge is getting rebuilt. Currently there are vertical metal poles placed at each end of the bridge. These are presumably intended as a barrier to vehicles crossing but are a navigation hazard for bikes and other active transport users. Will the new bridge be free of these poles?

    Ian Digby asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The vertical metal poles at the east end of the bridge are being removed as part of the reconstruction. The reconstruction at the east end of the bridge will have the road ending at a sidewalk, before transitioning to a trail leading up to the bridge. A “Trail Barrier Gate” will be installed at the transition from the sidewalk to the trail. The barrier gate is used to help mark the end of the road and the start of the trail. With the gate closed, a 1.2 to 1.5 metre path is available for pedestrians and cyclists, but deters cars and trucks.

    The attached photo shows an example of the type of barrier gate used in the City of Guelph. This photo was taken at the northeast end of Tiffany Street, at the entrance to the Downtown Trail.

    The existing metal gates at the railway crossing west of the bridge are beyond the approximate construction limits and will remain in place.

    Details about the reconstruction at the east end of the bridge can be found on the “Proposed East Approach of Norwich Street Bridge (Plan View)” slide included in the Virtual Open House for this project. The slides can be reviewed at the following link: https://guelph.ca/living/construction-projects/norwich-street-bridge-improvements/.

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    The following question was received by email: "I'm writing with a question about the planned design of the Norwich Street pedestrian bridge rebuild. The plan view has a label marked "trail barrier gate" near the interface between the west end of the street and the east end of the bridge. Are you able at all to comment on what that refers to?"

    4 months ago

    Thank you for your question about the trail barrier gate. Attached below is the standard drawing of the “City Standard Trail Barrier Gate”. Also attached is a photo showing an example of a barrier gate. The photo was taken at the northeast end of Tiffany Street in Guelph, at the entrance to the Downtown Trail. As shown in the attachments, the barrier gate is used to help mark the end of the roadway and the start of the trail. With the gate closed, a 1.2 metre to 1.5 metre path is provided that allows pedestrians and cyclists through, but deters passenger vehicles.

      

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    The following question was received by email: "Thanks for the note and residents in the neighbourhood are excited that this project is moving forward despite the up to 14 week construction inconvenience. First - thanks for addressing a major concern that many of us had at the May 2017 Open House: the lack of landscaping and site design on the East side exit to the bridge. I do have a couple of questions: I noted on p.5 of the presentation as part of the site design that there are no trees proposed for the site? Is there an opportunity to integrate trees (even smaller ornamental trees such as the Serviceberry tree or Amelanchier hybrid) either at the edge of the bridge or along Norwich street where the new sidewalk is proposed? Also, is there an opportunity to replace the "chain-link" fence that is proposed to abut the bridge with a similar wrought iron fence as is found on the bridge? From a long-term infrastructure perspective, a more substantive fence would not likely fall victim to vandalism and deterioration in the same way as something more substantive."

    4 months ago

    Thank you for your comments. With respect to page 5 of the presentation, that graphic shown is not zoomed out enough to show the proposed plantings, which will include 32 trees and a large number of shrubs. There are no plantings proposed for east of the bridge within the Norwich Street East right-of-way due to existing vegetation and space constraints. As a part of the scope of work, we will also be removing a significant amount of invasive plant species such as buckthorns and honeysuckle, and restoring these areas with native plant species. The main planting areas are located north of the bridge on the east side of the river and the west side of the river, both north and south of the bridge.

    The proposed chain-link fence will integrate with the existing fence at the southeast corner of the bridge. This fence will deter the public from getting under the new bridge. There are no plans to install a wrought iron or other similar barrier.

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    It says that 'parking will be addressed with local residents' - so how is this going to be addressed? We've held a parking permit in that lot for over 10 years and have not been specifically contacted by anyone yet. If the parking lot is not going to be available to permit holders, I hope the City is planning on offering street parking permits and waiving the parking lot fee which is over $100 a month. In addition, the parking lot should be paved at the completion of this project, or at least regraded - it is full of potholes already and should be refurbished after the further damage that construction equipment will cause. In regards to the refurbishment of the bridge, it is good to see the City taking care of their own heritage resources and I fully support the work to maintain the heritage elements while improving the structural components.

    Sue on Arthur Street North asked 4 months ago

    City of Guelph Parking staff will be in contact with each impacted parking permit holder about 2 weeks before the start of construction. All permit holders will be relocated to other municipal parking lots during construction. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however, we cannot maintain safe access to the parking lot during construction. Once safe to do so, access to the Norwich Street parking lot will be restored.

    The parking lot will not be paved or repaired as a part of this project, except for those areas close to Norwich Street East that are impacted by construction activities.

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    The following question was received by email: "I'm a new resident of Arthur St. North and use this bridge frequently, and am just wondering if there is any temporary alternative way to get to the trails by the river from Arthur St. while the construction is on."

    4 months ago

    There will be no temporary river crossings during construction. The closest river crossing to the Norwich Street bridge is the Eramosa Road Bridge which is approximately 225m to the southeast. The Eramosa Road bridge has sidewalks on each side and connects to the trail system on the west side of the river.