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Heritage Aspects of Bridge Engineering


Century-old bridges may seem functionally obsolete, but their historical relevance should not be lost on the professionals managing these wonderful structures. Two components of heritage are of interest to the London, Ontario engineers who maintain these structures: their purpose, place in time and local relevance; and, their technical engineering heritage reflected by patents and design methods of the day. London’s early steel and wrought iron truss bridges are being considered for preservation, enhancement and a continued life. Their future is being assessed with a heritage component built into standard bridge management methods: infrastructure lifecycle planning; expansion and capacity growth planning; environmental assessment studies; and, risk assessment. Bridge managers and engineers have approached the remnants of London’s Victorian era of bridge construction in a pragmatic way, taking advantage of heritage documentation and local community input to provide context for design objectives. Consequently, unique features have emerged that transform the timeworn into the revitalized. The project approaches, design features and outcomes are quite varied in four recent London examples. London’s achievements on older bridges have been recognized with an award from the Architectural Conservancy (London Regional Branch) and the Heritage London Foundation for its “outstanding contribution made to the preservation of London’s built heritage”. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
John Lucas