Otter Creek Bridge
0, Middletown Line, Township of Norwich, Ontario, N0J, Canada
Otter Creek Bridge
Heritage Pony Truss Bridge
Big Otter Creek Bridge
Pony Truss Bridge
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Otter Creek Bridge, spans the Big Otter Creek and is located on Middletown Line between Cornell and New Roads, in the Township of Norwich. The steel pony truss bridge was constructed in circa 1900.
The property was designated, by the Township of Norwich, in 1987, for its historical or architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 33-87). The Otter Creek Bridge has also been listed on the Ontario Heritage Bridge list, a list of provincially significant bridges maintained by the Ontario Ministry of Culture.
Built by the Hamilton Bridge Company in circa 1900, the Otter Creek Bridge is one of a few remaining steel, pony truss bridges in Ontario. Steel bridges proliferated rapidly in Ontario after 1900, and pony trusses, which were easy to erect, comparatively inexpensive and readily available, peppered the landscape. The pony truss design is low, lying alongside the bridge deck which allows light truss units to cross relatively large spans. The single lane capacity of pony trusses, however, resulted in many municipalities upgrading to two lane bridges.
The Otter Creek Bridge is of the Warren Truss form which uses diagonals in the shape of “W's” as its bracing and load bearing system. It also features bolted joints and a wooden deck.
The Otter Creek Bridge is a significant landmark in Oxford County. It is located on what was once a well traveled rural road in South Norwich. The Otter Creek Bridge's location on a forested winding road, contributes to the scenic rural landscape. It is a favourite location of local fishermen, naturalists and artists.
Sources: Township of Norwich By-law 33-87; Discovering Heritage Bridges on Ontario's Roads, David J. Cumming, 1951.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Otter Creek Bridge include its:
- Hamilton Bridge Works plaque located at the east end of the south truss
- one lane width
- Warren truss construction
- timber deck beams
- bolted skeletal framework, including diagonal steel members and horizontal steel bracing
- location spanning the Otter Creek in a rural setting in South Norwich
- location on a winding forested road including steep hill approach on the south side of the bridge
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1987/01/01 to 1987/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work
Architect / Designer
Hamilton Bridge Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
Township of Norwich
210 Main Street East
Cross-Reference to Collection