BYE BYE BRIDGE (FOR NOW)
It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later for London’s legendary Blackfriars Bridge.
The iconic structure will be removed Thursday from its longtime home west of downtown as part of city hall’s plan to have it repaired off-site before being returned to public use.
The removal will happen at 9 a.m. City officials announced a “sendoff event” to be held at that time at the bridge.
City hall says it will be back at its spot spanning the Thames River, connecting Ridout and Blackfriars streets, in about a year.
The bridge, built in 1875 for a cost of $14,711, is the oldest working bridge in Ontario — and among the oldest in Canada. It was declared a heritage structure in 1992. But the structure has needed frequent repairs in recent years, often shutting it down to vehicle traffic.
City staff estimated in 2016 that repairing Blackfriars would cost $4 million. But when politicians were asked in the summer to approve the project, the tab had jumped to $8.6 million based on new information, staff said.
The bridge’s bowstring arch design, made of wrought iron, has made it an iconic part of London’s landscape. As an example, it’s the logo for London native Paul Haggis’s Hollywood Production company, Blackfriars Bridge Films.
Steel beams that support the deck of Blackfriars Bridge are being removed before the iconic London structure is taken away for repairs. It will be removed Thursday from its longtime home west of downtown as part of city hall’s plan to have it repaired off-site before being returned to public use in about a year. For details, see