The 142-year-old Blackfriars Bridge will receive an official send-off from the city later this week before the historic span is dismantled and removed for long-awaited rehabilitation work.
The event, set to take place on the western edge of the bridge between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, will serve as a temporary farewell to the bridge that has spanned the Thames since 1875, the city said.
Mayor Matt Brown will appear at the send-off alongside London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos, and Michael Bartlett, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Western. All three will give remarks. In addition, Doug MacRae, manager of transportation planning and design for the city, will give a bridge removal announcement and technical briefing to those present, according to the city.
The wrought iron bridge officially closed to the public less than a month ago so work could commence removing pedestrian fencing, traffic and pedestrian railings, and deck boards. Over the next year, the bridge will be restored at an off-site facility before being reassembled at the river in the fall of 2018.
The bridge, closed to vehicles since late 2013, will see eastbound vehicular traffic allowed once the work is completed, in addition to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It’s estimated the rehabilitation, to be completed by McLean Taylor Construction Ltd. at a cost of $7.9 million, will add up to 75 years to the bridge’s lifespan.
PHOTOS: Historic photos of Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge was designated a heritage structure in 1992 and is one of a small number of bridges like it that are still in active use.
– With files from Matthew Trevithick and Liny Lamberink