Photo 1—Group shot of Municipality of Trent Hills elected officials, Trent Hills and County staff, and members of the community, standing at one end of the new Thompson Bridge with a Model T Ford representing the previous century of service delivered by the bridge, and a Tesla—with the license plate ’Futur3’ – representing a new century of safety and service.
The century-old Thompson Bridge on Skinkle Road in Warkworth has been replaced with a new state-of-the-art modular steel girder bridge spanning Percy Creek. The original fixed steel, Pony Truss bridge was constructed in 1922, and was closed in July 2021 due to safety concerns.
“The new Thompson bridge will help restore community connectivity for the local road network in Trent Hills,” states Director of Public Works Denise Marshall. “With a new, safer, slightly wider structure in place, the bridge will now be able to serve the community for another century.”
With the new bridge officially opened, local residents, school buses, the agricultural community, and emergency vehicles will now have safer, more direct access to County Roads 29 and 30. The crossing upgrade over the creek will also reconnect snowmobile and ATV trails to the Northumberland Forest and will better accommodate increased traffic and support economic and tourism development in the region.
“We want to thank Northumberland County for replacing this bridge which is important to our rural community,” remarks Trent Hills Mayor Bob Crate. “It is a vital connection, and we look forward to it’s use for the next 100 years.”
The comprehensive project involved the installation of new concrete foundations on 20m deep steel piles, new concrete substructures, and a new modular steel girder bridge. The approach roadway has been raised and flattened. Also, the width of the single lane bridge has been increased slightly from 4.0 m to 4.5 m to better accommodate agricultural equipment, recreational users and pedestrians.
The new bridge, with its upgraded design and modern engineering, will help ensure both safety and historical continuity for the Warkworth community for the next century and beyond.
· Located on Skinkle Road in Warkworth, approximately 1.56 km north of County Road 29.
· 25.7 m long span over Percy Creek.
· Bridge deck is 4.5 m wide almost 0.5 m wider than the previous bridge.
· The bridge took 21 weeks to construct.
· The bridge is designed for full highway loading
· The original bridge had a 10 tonne load restriction in place since 1985 until its closure.
· The bridge was engineered by Jewell Engineering and constructed by GIP Paving.
· Historical records reveal the property, which includes the bridge’s present location, was acquired by Peter Thompson in 1868. A Northumberland County map from 1878 confirms Thompson’s ownership and the suggestion of the presence of an earlier Meyers’ one-story log cabin. The bridge constructed in 1922, may have been named after the owner, Robert Thompson, or that of his two sons which in time owned separate lots on the property.