LEA was retained by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Northeastern Region to provide structural and highway design for the Highway 17B Duchesnay Creek Bridge replacement project, located at the boundary of the City of North Bay and Nippissing First Nation.
The original Duchesnay Creek Bridge, a timber truss bridge originally built in 1937, held great cultural significance as the last of its kind on Ontario's highways. The new bridge was designed to be sympathetic to the heritage of the original structure and used a timber design that reflects the key attributes of the original structure in modern form.
The bridge replacement included removal of the existing CNR Overhead bridge, complete pavement rehabilitation of Highway 17B for 1.2 km easterly of the Highway 17 junction, and lowering of highway profile. The new bridge comprises of 12 glulam girders with a precast concrete deck and arched glulam braces at the piers over three spans of 24m, 39m, and 20m continuous with semi-integral abutments. The girders are arches are all coasted Douglas Fir pressure treated in accordance with CSA O80. The arched braces allow for shallower girders and provide a more distinctive and appealing look. These arched braces also serve to splice the girder segments simplifying element fabrication, erection and transportation of the timber elements to site. The railings were also designed to match the old railings while meeting the required highway safety guidelines.
Construction on the bridge began in October 2019 and was officially opened to traffic on August 20th, 2021.
The exceptional design and construction efforts of the project team, including MTO Northeastern Region, LEA, and the team’s design and construction partners, were recognized through prestigious awards . The Duchesnay Creek Bridge was named the 2021 Public Works Project of the Year Award – Structures by The Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA), and received the Northern Ontario Excellence Award by the Wood-Works Program of the Canadian Wood Council and the 2022 Ontario Concrete Awards for Infrastructure Precast.