Community Bulletin: Work on the Swing Bridge Progressing

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

June 14, 2018 – The contractor is continuing to work toward the completion of the Glen Ross Lock 7 and Swing Bridge Rehabilitation project. Parks Canada’s team continues to work with the contractor to find efficiencies and reduce the negative impact on the public. More details on the project schedule will be available in late June as work progresses.

 Bridge beams and bracing

Currently, there are two crews on the Glen Ross site. One is working on the mechanical components of the bridge, and the other on completing concrete work to support the bridge. The concrete crew recently finished the centre balance wheel track – the pedestal where the centre of the bridge will pivot – and is currently constructing the concrete abutments. They have also installed the formwork and reinforcing steel for the hydraulic trench that will carry the mechanical and electrical lines for the operation of the bridge. The concrete for the trench will be placed the week of June 11th.

 Bridge abutment mid-construction

The bridge crew has recently installed new diagonal beams on the bridge frame. These beams are essential for increasing the structural stability and capacity to increase the bridge t0 highway load rating. They also replaced some of the knee joints where they found deterioration of the steel within the joint once it was
Bridge beams and bracing disassembled. The contractor continues to install news bolts and joints while awaiting the delivery of the pivot girder and bearing – essential components for balancing and swinging the bridge.

 Hydraulic trench

Why is work on the Glen Ross Swing Bridge so time consuming?

Work on the swing bridge is quite specialized. As a rehabilitation, we are able to preserve many elements of the bridge, which is better for the environment and more cost effective. However, the replacement parts need to be designed, fabricated, and machined to meet the exact requirements of the original bridge. Additionally, a higher grade of steel has to be sourced to maintain its strength and impact resilience in Canada’s cold winters.

 Diagonal beam attaching to the gusset plate

The rehabilitation process starts with the design and planning process, followed by removal of the bridge and media blasting. Additional deterioration that may be found in the joints or other hidden areas are accounted for. New designs are created where needed and then steel is sourced. The sourced steel is shipped to the fabricator to have the components assembled. The created components are then sent to a machinist to have them machined before sending them along to the site to have them installed.

Installation can also be painstaking requiring very specific actions to jack and support the bridge to ensure that no parts warp while new components are installed. This work requires the support of an onsite engineer to ensure the bridge components are maintained or improved for the structural stability of the bridge. If there are any irregularities on the new components (ie. a bolt hole doesn’t line up exactly) it may need to be sent back to the machinist or fabricator for adjustment. Once all of the parts are installed, the bridge is then placed on its pivot and commissioned.

Why is this work so important?

Work on Glen Ross Lock 7 and Swing Bridge is extending the life of these important assets for decades to come. Bridges such as this must be repaired periodically to ensure their operability and safety for the public. Once completed, the bridge will have a full highway load rating, which will offer long-term benefits to the citizens of Quinte West.

Parks Canada would like to thank the community for their continued patience as we complete this important infrastructure project. These historic investments will mitigate health and safety risks, halt the loss of nationally significant built heritage and stimulate the economy in communities across the country

For More Information:

For up-to-date news about Parks Canada infrastructure work in this area, please visit If you have any questions about the Glen Ross Swing Bridge, or if you would like to receive email updates about this project, please email us at: and include “Glen Ross Swing Bridge” in the subject heading.

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