Those who are in a position to observe traffic going over the back bridge feel sure that it is only a matter of time until some overloaded vehicle crashes through the ancient structure into the river many feet below. The term overloaded does not mean that a truck is carrying an excessive weight in the ordinary sense of the term but only that it is too heavy for the frail bridge. Notices at each end of this ‘horse-and-buggy” span- warns that combined vehicle and load must not exceed five tons.
That is the same limit that is put on old wooden structures on the back country roads which are now being replaced by safer and more modern links. But this back bridge is in a different class from a glorified culvert on a secondary road—it is a span on highway 44 and because it was built about 80 years ago– the exact date is on the plate— it no longer meets the requirements of heavy trucks.
Many people have little sympathy with these huge vehicles which have made it hard for the railways while ruining the highways that must be kept up by taxpayers, many of whom haven’t even got a car. But the fact remains they are here to stay in spite of the great damage they do and the nuisance they create. So the situation posed by the inadequate bridge is a bad one.
It means that all these big transports must go through the main street of the town by one route or another. They are hard on the streets and the noise they make is worse than the trains. It puts Almonte in about as bad a position as Carleton Place was in before the Provincial Government got around to building a highway bridge there that would divert through traffic from the main street of that town.
The one bridge over the river in Carleton Place was at least capable of handling any weight up to a reasonable point. read – Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After
But this back bridge as stated before has a five ton limit. That daring or careless drivers do not observe this is a well known fact. Observers say they often hold their breath as a big transport dashes across in defiance of the warning signs. Someday it will go down and if there is no loss of life it will not, perhaps, be considered in the light of a calamity. Almonte Gazette April 1960
May 20, 1950–Almonte Gazette
Probably there is no more meaningless legend on a traffic sign anywhere than the one that adorns the “ back bridge” on Main Street. It says that loads going over the old structure must not exceed five tons. Being a link in Provincial Highway 44 many of the loads that pass over the decrepit span are nearer 15 tons than five.