The Detached Trail Bridge located in Smiths Falls will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian usage, effective immediately.
The Detached Trail Bridge is a decommissioned railway bridge structure constructed in 1910 that spans the Rideau River. After the railway line ceased operation in 1996, the bridge was assumed by Parks Canada as the abutments are on Canal Reserve Lands.
A detailed inspection of the Bridge has found that the concrete abutments are in poor condition. This, combined with the significant gap between the decking and the steel girders, represent a significant safety concern for motorized and pedestrian traffic.
Trail users can make use of the approved trail link on Abbott Street North which maintains a direct connection to the pre-existing trail network while eliminating the hazards associated with the water crossing.
In the near future, barricades and fencing will be installed to close access to the bridge. In the meantime, Parks Canada asks that the public proactively refrains from using the structure.