|Monday, April 27, 1885
|The Globe (Toronto)
The Callander extension.
Progress of bridge building along the line.
Mr. J. C. Bailey, Chief Engineer of the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway, returned on Thursday from an inspection of the work on the new extension of the Northern and North-Western Railway. In conversation with a reporter for The Globe yesterday he stated that the new iron Pratt truss bridge over the south branch of the Muskoka River has now been completed and the track laid across it and on the bridge of the north branch at Bracebridge. The two bridges are near to one another, not being more than a mile apart, and the second bridge leads right into the village of Bracebridge. The first bridge has a span of 200, and the second, which is a Howe truss bridge, one of 150 feet. The abutments of both are built of enormous blocks of solid dressed granite, and have been laid during the winter. In order to insure the mortar holding as solid as is laid in mild weather, the sand was heated red hot in large iron pans, and mixed with the lime with boiling water. The heating of the sand prevented the sudden cooling off of the mortar with the intense cold, and, indeed, such influence did the heating apparatus which was used have on the atmosphere that, even when the thermometer stood at about 30 degrees below zero away from the river and works, at the points where the bridge were being built, it was very comfortably warm. Owing to the quicksands which abounded in the neighbourhood of the south branch bridge, it was found necessary to drive piles down under the water on which to lay the masonry and build the approaches. Under each of the abutments of this bridge 85 piles were drive down and cut off some distance below the water mark, and in these the abutments were built. At the north branch bridge a solid rock foundation was fortunately found on which to lay the abutments. The masonwork for the large bridge at Huntsville and for that over the big East River farther north, have been built by the same contractors, John Eason & Sons, of Toronto, has now been finished, and is ready for the bridges to be erected on.
Coming down south from the junction with the Canadian Pacific Railway, which is at a point a mile and a half west of the present station of Thorncliff on that road, and therefore 338 1/2 miles west of Montréal, and 209 1/2 miles west of Carleton Place junction, the first bridge crosses the La Vase River. Over this a How true span, 80 feet wide, is being built on a rock foundation, with solid granite abutments. The next bridge south is another 80 foot span of the same character over the Wistawasing River, the abutments are nearly finished. These, in consequence of the treacherous nature of the ground, had to be built on piles cut off below that water. There are several other short spans of the same nature between that and the bridge over the South River. This last bridge consists of two spans, one of 100 and the other of 80 feet, both Howe truss bridges on heavy stone piers and abutments have been built on driven piles, with the exception of the western abutments, for which a solid rock foundation was discovered. Caissons are now being built for these bridges. There are four 100 foot spans over the winding Maganettawan River, three of which have pile foundations, and the fourth, at Burk's Falls, a rock foundation, and all have granite abutments.
The iron trestle viaducts.
Besides these bridges there are two iron trestle viaducts built in exactly the same way as the bridges and viaducts over the branches of the Don on the Ontario and Québec. The first and smallest is 41 1/2 miles north of Gravenhurst, and is 50 feet high, with eleven spans of 30 feet each, and has 260,000 lbs. of iron in it. The second over a valley 90 feet below the line at one point, and consists of 25 spans of 30 feet each, or in all is 750 feet wide. The iron in this bridge weighs over a million pounds. The approaches to many of the bridges are built in the same way. All these iron bridge and trestles have been constructed by the Hamilton Bridge Company. Mr. Bailey reports that all the work is proceeding rapidly, and is being done in the most efficient manner.
Railways: N. & P.J.Ry.