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Freeport Bridge

0, King Street, City of Kitchener, Ontario, N2A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/11/05

Featured is the view looking east at the Freeport Bridge.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Freeport Bridge, 2007
Featured is the north entrance to the Freeport Bridge.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Freeport Bridge, 2007
Featured are the concrete spans on the west side of the bridge.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Detailed View of the Freeport Bridge, 2007

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1925/01/01 to 1926/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/09/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Freeport Bridge spans the Grand River on King Street East between Riverbank Drive and Stonegate Drive in the City of Kitchener. The property consists of a multiple-span concrete bowstring arch bridge that was constructed between 1925 and 1926.

It was designated by the City of Kitchener in 2001 for its historical and/or architectural value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2001-208). The Freeport Bridge has also been listed on the Ontario Heritage Bridge list, a list of provincially significant bridges maintained by the Ministry of Culture.

Heritage Value

The Freeport Bridge spans the Grand River and serves as a gateway between the City of Kitchener and the City of Cambridge on the Old Highway 8. It is part of a group of four multiple-span concrete bow string arch bridges spanning the Grand River that were erected in the same time period and are similar in style. The group of bridges represent the upgrading of the transportation networks that occurred in Ontario after World War I to accommodate the increased number of automobiles. The group includes two other bridges within the Region of Waterloo, the Main Street Bridge in Cambridge and the Bridgeport Bridge in Kitchener. Of these three bridges, the Freeport is the oldest. The fourth bridge, the Caledonia Bridge, is located in the nearby City of Caledonia.

A prominent landmark in the Region of Waterloo, the Freeport Bridge is widely recognized as the most important bridge in the Region. The current Freeport Bridge is the fourth consecutive bridge in this location. The first bridge was erected in 1820, with successive constructions in 1865, circa 1880 and this bridge in 1925.

This reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridge was designed by A.B. Crealock, who was the Bridge Engineer for the Province of Ontario in the 1920s. Construction began in 1925 and was finished in 1926 at an estimated cost of $85,000. The bridge's bowstring design was popular in the 1920s and 1930s as it required minimal material, was simple to install and could easily accommodate vehicular traffic. It has a length of 160 meters, with seven spans and six piers. Two lanes of cars can cross the bridge and the 6 foot wide sidewalk is a unique feature found on this bowstring arch bridge.

Sources: City of Kitchener By-Law 2001-208, Reasons for Designation;
Spanning the Generations: Heritage Assessment, Freeport Bridge, 2004;
Freeport Bridge Heritage Plaque Unveiling Information 2005.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value include its:
- location on the site of three previous bridges whose presence date back to 1820
- reinforced concrete bowstring arch construction
- original dimensions of the bridge, 160.1 meters in length and 22.1 metres wide with a 1.83 meter sidewalk
- seven concrete spans and six concrete piers
-decorative concrete rails and balustrades
- concrete deck beams
- key location spanning the Grand River
- prominence as a gateway marker between the City of Kitchener and the City of Cambridge
- proximity to three other bridges in the area which were built in the same era and style.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Ontario

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date

2001/11/05

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

2001/01/01 to 2001/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Transport-Land
Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work

Architect / Designer

A. B. Crealock

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener 200 King Street West P.O. Box 1118 Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

HPON07-0016

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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