Though considering that rehabilitation was already on the table and deemed feasible, this sounds more like a typical case of Ford gov't rock bottom utilitarianism a la Ontario Place.I'm usually a pretty staunch supporter of heritage preservation.....but..... I sure would not want to take chances on the life expectancy of a bridge on a highway as well travelled as the QEW.
Some things do wear out eventually.
I would warn against this. MTO's "similar style" bridges have left.. a lot to be desired.Build a replacement in a similiar style - longer timeframe and perhaps cost, but problem solved.
To be fair, I wouldn't even bother with faking it with the example you've cited. On the other hand, the arches for the Credit River bridge are structural - you can't just fake it like they did here.I would warn against this. MTO's "similar style" bridges have left.. a lot to be desired.
Line 5 in Bradford for example:
Original. Curved single span structure with ornamental detailing including the crown's coat of arms and curved railings on top.
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New. Coat of arms is essentially the only part that is done well. there is useless curved concrete portions in the corners to imitate the original, and no acknowledgement of the original railing.
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Seems reasonable. If the rehab cost approximates building new (including timelines) then it seems money well spent.^The coats of arms on those old bridges are so eroded that I don't see the value in preserving them. There is plenty of photographic material archived so they will not be forgotten.
I'm not sure that we want our highway system to be preserved in an original form. We preserve lots of railway heritage, but we don't pull GO trains with steam locomotives just to keep the heritage alive. The functioning highway will require renewal and see upgrading, and heritage may not take priority. (Will the spaghetti junctions built in the 1970's one day become heritage structures? There are as definitive of that era as art deco and arches were of the earlier era).
I understand the skepticism.....One does wonder how an approved plan to life-extend the bridge for up to 75 years suddenly became too expensive to justify. I suspect the new government is indeed looking at costs differently. Perhaps the original plan (ie restoration) was a bit extravagant, or money was easier to come by a few years ago. I'm not opposed to taking a more critical look at spending, so long as the pendulum doesn't get pushed all the way over. A highway bridge doesn't feel like a hill for the heritage community to die on, especially if its aesthetic value (the underside) is not publicly accessible.