The Town of Bracebridge announced Friday that the Black Bridge is re-opened effective immediately. The bridge replacement, that was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, was delayed due to supply-chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The construction is now complete and the bridge is fully open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. An official bridge re-opening ceremony is planned for late August 2021.
The $2.76 million bridge construction project was funded in large part through a $2.13 million grant the
Town received in 2019 under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Northern and Rural
In June 2020, the Town of Bracebridge awarded McPherson-Andrews Contracting Limited the construction contract for replacement of the Black Bridge located over the south branch of the Muskoka River on Matthiasville Road. A bridge inspection conducted in 2016 concluded that the 98-year old Black Bridge had reached the end of its useful service life and should be replaced.
Following a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Study, replacement of the old bridge with a
bowstring truss-type bridge painted black was approved by Town Council. This solution was deemed to
best meet the preferred alternative of the Municipal Class EA study and also satisfy most of the features requested by residents of Matthiasville Road for the new Black Bridge.
Planmac Engineering Inc. designed the new bridge and provided contract administration services during
the bridge replacement on behalf of the Town. The new structure will permit the passage of all motor vehicles legally permitted on Ontario highways, and features a concrete sidewalk within the bridge trusses, on the downstream side.
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