University Drive Bridge set to reopen March 8

After being closed for most of the school year, the University Drive Bridge at Western University is about to reopen.

Officials announced Wednesday that regular traffic will be allowed to cross the 95-year-old span again as of Friday, March 8.

Global News

The bridge has been closed since mid-October after an inspection showed deterioration in the bearings that help the bridge flex under the weight of loads in fluctuating temperatures.

Crews worked 10- and 12-hour days to re-open the bridge as soon as possible, but as a result of severe weather in early February, work had to slow or even stop for a few days to ensure worker safety, officials said.

While bearings on both ends of the bridge have been replaced, there is still work to be done. Rivets original to the nearly century-old bridge have to be removed so the bridge can be jacked and the centre-span bearings replaced. There are 590 rivets.

Only pedestrians and cyclists were allowed to cross in the last four months, but in a few short weeks, cars, trucks, ambulances and regular-sized transit and shuttle buses will be allowed to cross.

There will be a 12-tonne limit though, so concrete and fire trucks won’t be allowed to cross.

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