The Burlington Canal Bridges

scotto

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#22
Scott,
"On April 28, 1952, the north leaf of the road bascule bridge was damaged beyond repair when the laker W.E. Fitzgerald collided with it. It was never rebuilt, and a temporary bridge was installed to meet the south bascule."


Scott,

here is a page on the court case that followed.
http://scc.lexum.org/decisia-scc-csc/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/6968/index.do

From the Hamilton Spectator
Set Saturday Opening For Burlington Bridge

Hamilton, Aug. 13 (Staff). — A three-mile stretch of highway across the Burlington Beach strip, linking sections of the Queen Elizabeth Way, will be humming with traffic again this Saturday.
A new bridge constructed to replace the shattered Bascule bridge over the Burlington canal is to be opened by 6 p.m. Its completion will relieve a three-month traffic jam in this city started when an inbound freighter crashed into the Bascule bridge last May.
Since that time, the east-west thoroughfares have been clogged with detouring cars, trucks and buses which normally would have travelled the shorter route across the beach strip. The extra traffic thrown onto Hamilton streets resulted in a sharp increase in accidents and additional headaches and work for police.
And for the beach strip where some 3,000 persons live in cottages and permanent homes it will mean once again long streams of motor cars moving almost bumper to bumper throughout the day and night


During the past three months residents of the beach area have enjoyed a relatively quiet time. The road was blocked off after the wrecking of the bridge and only cars of the residents, their guests and peoples going to the beaches have been using it.
Normally the traffic will move slowly but smoothly across the three-mile stretch. But when a boat — even a small sailboat — moves through the canal it results in delays, piled-up traffic and frayed nerves. This is especially true on Saturdays and Sundays when traffic is at its heaviest. Chief Howard Nickling and his force have frequently worked 36 hours at a stretch keeping traffic moving and investigating the numerous collisions on the road. This weekend the traffic situation returns to its former status but for the hundreds of beach residents, for the beach police and harried motorists the only solution to the problem is the construction of the long-discussed high-level bridge over the canal. Such a bridge would eliminate the necessity of stopping vehicular traffic for inbound or outbound boats.




Spec Photo

Work Rushed on New Bridge
Heavy traffic on the Queen Elizabeth Way will once again, starting Saturday use the bridge at Burlington. Workmen are rushing to completion a new span, replacing the bridge destroyed in May when a freighter crashed into its north section. Summer traffic has had to detour through Hamilton, eight miles out of its way.
 

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scotto

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#23
The following pictures show the temporary replacement bridge in place, these photos would of been taken from the new Skyway Bridge and you can see the start of the new lift bridge in the background.




Hamilton Public Library




Sent in by Sharla;

Photographer, Gerald Little;


Another;
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#25
Scott,
“On April 28, 1952, the north leaf of the road bascule bridge was damaged beyond repair when the laker W.E. Fitzgerald collided with it. It was never rebuilt, and a (temporary) bridge was installed to meet the south bascule. In 1962 the railway and the road were accommodated by means of a combination liftbridge, with the track now back on the alignment of the original railway swingbridge.”

When the north lief bascule bridge was replaced, were plans already in place for the construction of the lift bridge? Hence ‘a temporary bridge’?
 

scotto

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#26
Scott,
"On April 28, 1952, the north leaf of the road bascule bridge was damaged beyond repair when the laker W.E. Fitzgerald collided with it. It was never rebuilt, and a (temporary) bridge was installed to meet the south bascule. In 1962 the railway and the road were accommodated by means of a combination liftbridge, with the track now back on the alignment of the original railway swingbridge."

When the north lief bascule bridge was replaced, were plans already in place for the construction of the lift bridge? Hence 'a temporary bridge'?
The accident only pushed up the plans for the Skyway Bridge as the QEW Bascule route along the Beach Strip was already considered to be woefully inadequate for the amount of traffic of the day. There was already talk of replacing the canal bridge with a tunnel or a high level bridge, but the cheaper Skyway Bridge won.
 

David O'Reilly

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#27
Scott,
"The accident only pushed up the plans for the Skyway Bridge as the QEW Bascule route along the Beach Strip was already considered to be woefully inadequate for the amount of traffic of the day. There was already talk of replacing the canal bridge with a tunnel or a high level bridge, but the cheaper Skyway Bridge won."

So the QEW used the bascule bridges? I guess it must have since it was built in 1939, and as you indicate the lift bridge was built in 1962. But this QEW history page seems to indicate that until the construction of the Skyway Bridge, the QEW used the lift bridge.

"The construction of a high-level bridge to carry the QEW across the Burlington Beaches had been considered as early as the 1930s, but it was not until the 1950s that the proposal became a reality. Until 1958, all QEW traffic crossed the Burlington Canal on a lift bridge, which was frequently opened to allow ships to enter Hamilton Harbour. Traffic jams had always been a serious problem on Beach Boulevard, so it was clear that a high-level bridge was needed to fix the traffic bottleneck. The Burlington Beach Skyway (now known as the James N. Allen-Burlington Beach Skyway) was opened in 1958, bypassing the old lift bridge on Beach Boulevard."
http://www.thekingshighway.ca/Queen_Elizabeth_Way.htm

________________________________________
 

David O'Reilly

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#29
Scott,
“With the completion of the Burlington Canal in 1826, a wooden bridge was constructed to allow the passage of land traffic across the new waterway. However, this bridge sustained heavy storm-damage and was torn down. It was replaced by a swing bridge in 1830. Unfortunately this bridge too came down when struck by a schooner. For decades after the accident, a wooden scow, pulled by heavy chains, was used to transport people, animals, and goods across the canal.”

Scott, several months ago in a telephone conversation, Fred raised the question ‘wouldn’t the chain for this scow have prevented the movement of boats through the canal’.

The chane must have been operated by a pulley on both sides of the canal. So I wonder if there was a second pulley system, on which was mounted the first, which could draw the firse down to the bottom of the canal, thereby clearing the way for boats.

I wonder if there is any information on this in old Department of Public Works records.
 

scotto

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#30
Scott,
“With the completion of the Burlington Canal in 1826, a wooden bridge was constructed to allow the passage of land traffic across the new waterway. However, this bridge sustained heavy storm-damage and was torn down. It was replaced by a swing bridge in 1830. Unfortunately this bridge too came down when struck by a schooner. For decades after the accident, a wooden scow, pulled by heavy chains, was used to transport people, animals, and goods across the canal.”

Scott, several months ago in a telephone conversation, Fred raised the question ‘wouldn’t the chain for this scow have prevented the movement of boats through the canal’.

The chane must have been operated by a pulley on both sides of the canal. So I wonder if there was a second pulley system, on which was mounted the first, which could draw the firse down to the bottom of the canal, thereby clearing the way for boats.

I wonder if there is any information on this in old Department of Public Works records.
Public Works Canada wouldn't of became involved with the canal until the Bascule Bridge was built and the railway would of been responsible for the the swing bridges.
I always wondered what ever happened to any records, if there were any, for the operation of the bascule bridge(s).
 

Drogo

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Feb 8, 2005
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#31
Lets go boys. Ships went in and out and the ferry kept going back and forth. If you look at this picture you see the ferry arriving. We know they are arriving because the horse didn't turn around. You can see the chain going into the water on the trailing end. They must have had chain long enough on each end so that when the ferry was pulled to the other side the chain on the back end sunk to the bottom. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Note: The quote was "For decades after the accident, a wooden scow, pulled by heavy chains, was used to transport people, animals, and goods across the canal." It simply says pulled and no mention of pulleys.
 
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David O'Reilly

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#32
Scott, this information from the ‘Hamilton Harbour’ page, seems to indicate that the Burlington Canal was built by an act of government.

“We are told that in those pioneering times, the principal topics of discussion were Politics and Religion. Running a close third in the post-war years was Public Works, which entailed the planning and building of canals. Last of all, Private Enterprise usually took the form of some purely local effort such as the bridging of a river or the erection of a mill, but in 1816 the era of steam navigation came to Lake Ontario, with the completion of the steamboat ONTARIO at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y.”

“The year 1823 was one of major interest to the people of Hamilton and district, for on 19 March, an Act was passed authorizing construction of the Burlington Canal. The canal commissioners were John Aikman,Wm. Chisholm and Wm. Applegarth.John Chisholm was appointed Collector of Customs.”

http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=S2
 

scotto

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#33
Scott, this information from the ‘Hamilton Harbour’ page, seems to indicate that the Burlington Canal was built by an act of government.

“We are told that in those pioneering times, the principal topics of discussion were Politics and Religion. Running a close third in the post-war years was Public Works, which entailed the planning and building of canals. Last of all, Private Enterprise usually took the form of some purely local effort such as the bridging of a river or the erection of a mill, but in 1816 the era of steam navigation came to Lake Ontario, with the completion of the steamboat ONTARIO at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y.”

“The year 1823 was one of major interest to the people of Hamilton and district, for on 19 March, an Act was passed authorizing construction of the Burlington Canal. The canal commissioners were John Aikman,Wm. Chisholm and Wm. Applegarth.John Chisholm was appointed Collector of Customs.”

http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=S2
Public Works would of been in charge of building the canal, but not running the scow across it. If the Public Works of the day (PWGSC) could get rid rid of the bridge that is there now, they would. They have no interest in the ownership once built, federal buildings are another story.
Public Works did their best to unload the present bridge to the Province, but they wouldn't have any part of that.
 

David O'Reilly

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#34
The Hamilton Correspondent of the Toronto Globe wrote, in that paper's issue of 10 August,
"Since the Beach has become a place of public resort, the provision made by the Government for crossing the Burlington Canal by ferry, has become inadequate. The ferry was established over 20 years ago, when travel across the Beach was exceedingly limited and the ferryman's job was almost a sinecure. The Government regulations required the ferry to be at the free command of travellers from sunrise to sunset, but this is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the present day. It is true the ferryman, Mr. Joyce, does not refuse to take travellers over at earlier or later hours than those prescribed, but his labours are too great for one man to perform. It is stated that the average number of teams crossing in the summer is about 50 per day. For this work, Mr. Joyce receives $240.00 a year or 66 cents per day. It is true he has nothing to do during the winter, when the Bay is frozen over, but for five or six months in the year, his labour is enormous, nor can complaint be justly made because when called upon to ferry people after hours, he occasionally accepts a fee for this extra work. There can be no doubt that new regulations are necessary and it seems that the case need only be properly presented to the Government to induce it to comply with the demands of the public for increased facilities."
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1877

Scott,

What ‘government’ was this news paper article referring to? And, who, or what, was paying the ferryman $240 a year?
 

scotto

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#35
The Hamilton Correspondent of the Toronto Globe wrote, in that paper's issue of 10 August,
"Since the Beach has become a place of public resort, the provision made by the Government for crossing the Burlington Canal by ferry, has become inadequate. The ferry was established over 20 years ago, when travel across the Beach was exceedingly limited and the ferryman's job was almost a sinecure. The Government regulations required the ferry to be at the free command of travellers from sunrise to sunset, but this is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the present day. It is true the ferryman, Mr. Joyce, does not refuse to take travellers over at earlier or later hours than those prescribed, but his labours are too great for one man to perform. It is stated that the average number of teams crossing in the summer is about 50 per day. For this work, Mr. Joyce receives $240.00 a year or 66 cents per day. It is true he has nothing to do during the winter, when the Bay is frozen over, but for five or six months in the year, his labour is enormous, nor can complaint be justly made because when called upon to ferry people after hours, he occasionally accepts a fee for this extra work. There can be no doubt that new regulations are necessary and it seems that the case need only be properly presented to the Government to induce it to comply with the demands of the public for increased facilities."
http://www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/documents/Brookes/default.asp?ID=Y1877

Scott,

What ‘government’ was this news paper article referring to? And, who, or what, was paying the ferryman $240 a year?
I don't know if the Federal Government was broken down into branches as it is today, but Transport Canada is responsible for the piers and the canal, not Public Works. I don't know which part of the government paid the Ferryman.
 

David O'Reilly

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#36
Scott
“From Charles Cooper's Hamilton's Other Railway
____________________________________________
At the canal, the new through-truss swingbridge was swung (by hand) for the first time on January 10, 1877. The 375 foot long riveted, wrought-iron superstructure was constructed for the H&NW by the Hamilton Tool Works at a reported cost of $23,000. The Hamilton Times proudly noted that "the construction of this bridge in Canada has circulated over $12,000 amongst the working population of the country", and added reassuringly that "the bridge will be eventually worked by an engine of 20 horse power which has been manufactured by Mr. Northey of this city". Five days later, the first engine tested the bridge by crossing and re-crossing it at different speeds, and making stops at random. Evidently all went well, and regular service across the bridge began the following month.”

“In 1896 the Dominion government began work on a highway swingbridge to connect the new road along the west side of the beach strip. This bridge had wooden sidewalks and a narrow lane for vehicles.When the Hamilton-Burlington radial electric railway (the HRER) reached the Canal in 1896, it negotiated the right to use it in exchange for providing the motor and the power to operate it. This swingbridge had a south-side pedestal, and it was asymmetrical because of the need to clear the lighthouse immediately to the east.”

Scott, when this road swing bridge was completed in 1896, did the Department of Public Works operate it? And do you know who the Hamilton Radial Electric Railroad (HRER) negotiated with in order to use it?

It would be interesting to see what the news papers of the day reported on this issue.
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#37
Scott
“Public Works Canada wouldn't of became involved with the canal until the Bascule Bridge was built and the railway would of been responsible for the the swing bridges.
I always wondered what ever happened to any records, if there were any, for the operation of the bascule bridge(s).”

Scott, perhaps the Canadian Rail and Marine World (CRMW) would have some information on the operation of the bascule bridges (and all of the other Canal Bridges as far as that gos). CRMW is an out of print magazine which is available on microfilm at the Hamilton Public Library.
________________________________________
 

Drogo

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Feb 8, 2005
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#38
I don't know if the Federal Government was broken down into branches as it is today, but Transport Canada is responsible for the piers and the canal, not Public Works. I don't know which part of the government paid the Ferryman.
Scott
In the lighthouse diaries Thompson would go to Wellington Square and get the mail. He got a cheque from the "Customs House" in Quebec and that was for him and to run the lighthouse and canal. He paid himself, the ferriage, and lamp oil from it. When there was damage and specific repairs were needed he wrote a letter to get funds alotted to look after the problem. I can find specific quotes if you need it.
 

David O'Reilly

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Dec 15, 2012
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#39
Drogo
“In the lighthouse diaries Thompson would go to Wellington Square and get the mail. He got a cheque from the "Customs House" in Quebec and that was for him and to run the lighthouse and canal. He paid himself, the ferriage, and lamp oil from it. When there was damage and specific repairs were needed he wrote a letter to get funds alotted to look after the problem. I can find specific quotes if you need it.”

Drogo, is there any informmation in the lighthouse diaries on how the canal scow was operated? By that I mean, ‘the chane and the possibility of a pulley.

And is there anything on exactly when the scow began and seased operating?
________________________________________
 

Drogo

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Feb 8, 2005
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#40
I don't have the specific answers you are looking for. Geo. Thompson kept a diary at the lighthouse from 1854-1875. His service started there in 1848-1854 as ferryman then lighthouse keeper from 1954-1875 when he retired. A friend had a copy of 1871 for research and loaned it to me as I was looking for something in that year. On Aug. 31, 1871 Thompson notes "Put the second cast iron roller on to the Scow". Whatever the system was it had to be simple enough for a one man operation. Everytime Thompson mentions a strong east blow or ice being pushed into the canal he also notes that he "took the scow to the south-west pier end". Now you know the distance from the west side of the lighthouse to the bay end of the pier is a fairly long way but apparently he was able to disconnect the scow from the canal span and physically drag it all the way to the bay is rough or freezing weather. When you look at the size of the scow it is obvious that he was a driven man to care for his equipment. When he "brought the scow back to the recess" he did it the same way. In the following picture you can see what looks like a roller (probably to keep the chain from eating away the wood and make it easier to move). This still doesn't give use the exact method of drawing it back and forth. The site I found it above quote and the picture is http://hamiltonparanormal.com/sky1.html
I'm sure alot would ignore that site because of what it is but this lady has gone to special collections to get pictures and information so if you don't believe her information at least it is a place to start. She has some great pictures of the canal and went for things we don't look for. Accidents and cars being pulled from the canal.
 
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