As part of our five-year Engineer of Record contract with Norfolk County, G. Douglas Vallee Limited provided structural and civil engineering services on the Cst. John Verral Memorial Bridge along the Queensway corridor through Simcoe.

The bridge had exceeded the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code life expectancy of 75 years and, through a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, it was determined that the preferred solution was to complete a full replacement rather than a rehabilitation.

This bridge was a very unique and complex assignment with some incredible features. The existing bridge abutments were left in place to reduce construction costs and duration, as well as simplifying traffic staging. The design incorporated a pedestrian underpass with an illuminated walk-through art gallery, as well as heritage-styled barriers reminiscent of former downtown Simcoe bridge designs.

Given that this portion of Queensway serves as an arterial passageway to Simcoe’s downtown area, the project was completed using a two-stage approach to maintain the traffic flow; construction was completed on the south half of the bridge before commencing work on the north half. Additionally, the reconstruction included a unique cantilevered pedestrian pathway, so as not to disrupt the flow of the Lynn River.

The bridge is named for Cst. John Verral from the O.P.P. Honour Roll, who was killed in the line of duty while performing with the Golden Helmets Precision Motorcycle Team at the Norfolk County Fair. His service and that of the Golden Helmets is commemorated in embossed plaques on the concrete capitals under the lamp posts on the bridge.

Vallee is proud to have assisted the County in obtaining a $3-million provincial grant for this project, which covered approximately 75 percent of the overall budget, and the work was completed just under budget.