Metrolinx continues its work on expanding GO Train service on the Kitchener Line with some essential work about to happen in Guelph.

As many will know, updates have been abundant lately on the connection between Toronto and Kitchener. From the latest business case to the broader update on construction, a lot is happening.

Starting this spring, a Metrolinx contractor will be replacing spans and support beams, repairing masonry, and upgrading the structural capacity of the aging Speed River Bridge (as known as Allan’s Bridge or Grand Trunk Railway Bridge) in Downtown Guelph to allow for future rail expansion.

The Speed River Bridge (Allan’s Bridge) project is expected to take about a year to complete and will involve overnight work as well as road closures.

speed river bridge in Guelph
A recent photo of the Speed River Bridge, which will be getting major upgrades this summer. (Metrolinx photo)

Potential impact for Guelph residents

Starting May 17, crews will begin preparing the site and conducting surveys in the area.

From July to later this fall, track work will begin overnight on select weekends between 6 a.m. on Saturday and 11 p.m. Sunday. 

Here is the planned overnight weekend work schedule:

  • July 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25
  • September 11-12, 18-19, 25-26
  • October 2-3, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31
  • November 6-7

Some weekends in July may require road closures, that information will be shared by Metrolinx closer to the construction dates.

All other weekends (September to November) will require various full road closures between Elizabeth and Wellington streets, including Macdonell Street.

Metrolinx says these road closures are necessary in order to remove existing bridge spans and install new bridge spans over the roadway and Speed River.

Every effort will be made to reduce the impact to pedestrians and roadway users as this work is completed.

Detour route planning is underway with the City of Guelph, Metrolinx and the contractor carrying out the work.

During the weekend work residents can expect to hear noise from heavy machinery and equipment on and near the tracks. The use of back-up beepers, a vital safety measure, will be limited to essential work only, and lights will be pointed away from people’s homes.

An undated historical photo of the Speed River Bridge in Guelph
An undated historical photo of the Speed River Bridge in Guelph. (Guelph Public Library Archives)

What happens next?

A second related project is beginning in the fall, which includes the rehabilitation of the Norfolk and Wilson Street Bridges.

The Wilson Street bridge, built in 1902, requires a complete replacement. The Norfolk Street Bridge, built 1967, requires steel repairs, waterproofing, sandblasting and painting.

Both will see several retaining walls supporting the track improved to ensure the longevity of this infrastructure and prepare for future expansion on the Kitchener GO Line.

Stay up to date with improvements to the Kitchener GO Line by signing up the community newsletter, following GO Expansion on Twitter, and by checking Metrolinx News regularly.

With files from Jessica Scott, Metrolinx community relations specialist

Historical Photos:

Rebuilding the Canadian National Railway Bridge, c. 1936 (Guelph Museums 2009.32.3655)
8221 bridge 1973 (Wellington County Museums)

More historical photos can be found here, here, and here.

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