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This coming spring pedestrians and nature lovers will be able to enjoy the Valley Inn area again as a new pedestrian bridge will be installed. It will also make it possible for the Around the Bay Road Race to revert to its original route, a major feature of which was the grueling Valley Inn hill climb.

The City of Burlington has announced the closure of Spring Gardens Road between the west end of Woodland Cemetery and the Valley Inn Road to permit construction of the new pedestrian bridge.

The section of road will be closed from Monday January 3 to Sunday March 20. All vehicle and pedestrian access will be cut off. Only emergency vehicles and staff from the Botanical Gardens will be permitted.

The bridge is the property of the City of Hamilton. The currently bridge was installed in 1964 but closed to cars in 2006 and to pedestrians in 2009 for safety reasons.

“Generally, the existing abutments will be left in place and new abutments will be built behind the structure. The new bridge will be constructed in sections off-site and a crane will be used to lift the bridge into position. The new crossing will incorporate design elements of the existing bridge” according to a Hamilton staff report earlier this year.

The replacement bridge was made possible by a donation from the Patrick J. McNally Charitable Foundation.

The Valley Inn was a popular resting spot for travellers between Toronto and Hamilton until the late 1920’s when Hamilton’s High Level Bridge was built and siphoned off most of the traffic.  The original bridge collapsed under the weight of a truck and was replaced by a military Baily bridge which itself was closed to all traffic owing to safety concerns

By Rick Craven

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