John Beck

John Beck said he is sad to learn an historic landmark, the cement bridge in the background, will be taken down as part of the replacement of a new culvert on Route 324 in Glenwilliam. Charlotte MacAulay photo

A culvert replacement on Route 324 in Glenwilliam has revealed an historical landmark that some locals are saddened to hear will be torn down.

John Beck of Alliston had thought a cement bridge he and his friends used to explore on countless adventures back in the early 1960s had disappeared a couple of decades ago.

Wandering to and from Glenwilliam school house on the top of the hill where he attended Grades 1 through 4, he and his friends, including Ronnie Campbell, would walk on the ledge on the underside of the bridge trying, but not always succeeding, to stay out of the brook. 

About 20 years ago Mr Beck had walked back through the woods from the east one day looking for the structure. When he found the brook with no bridge he assumed it had fallen down. Little did he know the brook, which had originally run under the bridge, had somehow been diverted to the east in the years since he was a boy. 

But as he drove down the road in Glenwilliam on April 28 after the construction crew had cleared away trees that had grown up over time there it was plain as day.

Memories came flooding back.

“I thought it had disappeared and was I ever glad to see it,” he said.

Richard White who has lived across the road from the landmark for close to 30 years knew it was there hidden behind the trees.

He discovered it a few years ago on a stroll through the woods and also considers it a piece of history that should remain in place.

“I’d like to see it saved,” Mr White said.

A spokesperson from the Department of Transportation confirmed the cement bridge will be removed as part of the work.

“It is necessary in order to reroute the stream from the existing alignment into the new replacement drainage structure,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also noted the bridge, which sits on government owned property, is considered a liability which is another reason for having it removed. 

“When that’s gone it is just another piece of our history gone,” Mr Beck said. 

Local traffic only will be allowed on Route 324 for the duration of the culvert replacement. Work is expected to be complete by June 17th. Detour signs are in place.

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(2) comments


I wonder if it was put through a structural integrity test


The picture looks like it’s in much better shape than the other similar ones on PEI

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