The Back Bridge of Almonte April 1960

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The Back Bridge of Almonte April 1960
almonte.com

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. 

almonte.com

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. 

Back Bridge

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.

Related reading

Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After

Geddes Rapids Bridge 1903 — Dalhousie Lake

John Lyons John Campbell & Morphy Appleton Bridge Settlements

Primitive Bridges –Where was this Bridge?

The Bridge that Floated on Clayton Lake

The Sharbot Lake Floating Bridge

The Floating Bridge – Claudia Smith

More on The Floating Bridge– Memories of Lyall McKay

The Carp River Floating Bridge

More Memories of the Floating Bridge

More Notes on the Floating Bridge in Clayton

The Floating Bridge of Carleton Place — Found!

Clayton floating bridge

Searching for the Floating Bridge?

The Floating Bridges of Lanark County

The Mystery Ruins and the Floating Sidewalk Near the McNeely Bridge

Stories About Deachman’s Bridge?

Why the Appleton Bridge Collapsed…

The Day the Appleton Bridge Collapsed

Lawsuits in Carleton Place — The Collapse of the Appleton Bridge

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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