The Back Bridge of Almonte April 1960

The Back Bridge of Almonte April 1960

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. 

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

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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