speed river bridge in Guelph

Guelph bridge work the next phase of Kitchener Line expansion

In spring, contractors will start work on bridge upgrades that will help expand GO Train service.

May 13, 2021

Metrolinx is continuing to make progress on expanding GO Train service on the Kitchener Line.

The provincial transit agency has more news on the essential work happening along the Kitchener GO Line – this time it’s all about Guelph.

There has been an abundance of updates lately on this vital connection between Toronto and Kitchener. From the latest business case, to the broader update on construction, there’s a lot happening.

Now this Spring, Metrolinx’s contractor will be replacing spans and support beams, repairing masonry, and upgrading the structural capacity of the aging Speed River Bridge in Guelph to allow for future rail expansion.

The Speed River Bridge project is expected to take about a year to complete.

speed river bridge in Guelph

A recent photo of the Speed River Bridge, which will be getting major upgrades this summer. (Metrolinx photo)

Potential impact for Guelph residents

Starting May 17, crews will begin preparing the site and conducting surveys in the area.

From July to later this fall, track work will begin overnight on select weekends between 6 a.m. on Saturday and 11 p.m. Sunday. 

Here is the planned overnight weekend work schedule:

  • July 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25
  • September 11-12, 18-19, 25-26
  • October 2-3, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31
  • November 6-7

Some weekends in July may require road closures, that information will be shared with the community closer to the construction dates.

All other weekends (September to November) will require various full road closures between Elizabeth and Wellington streets, including Macdonell Street.

Metrolinx says these road closures are necessary in order to remove existing bridge spans and install new bridge spans over the roadway and Speed River.

Every effort will be made to reduce the impact to pedestrians and roadway users as this work is completed.

Detour route planning is underway with the City of Guelph, Metrolinx and the contractor carrying out the work.

During the weekend work residents can expect to hear noise from heavy machinery and equipment on and near the tracks. The use of back-up beepers, a vital safety measure, will be limited to essential work only, and lights will be pointed away from people’s homes.

An undated historical the Speed River Bridge in Guelph

An undated historical photo of the Speed River Bridge in Guelph. (Guelph Public Library Archives)

What happens next?

A second related project is beginning in the fall, which includes the rehabilitation of the Norfolk and Wilson Street Bridges.

The Wilson Street bridge, built in 1902, requires a complete replacement. The Norfolk Street Bridge, built 1967, requires steel repairs, waterproofing, sandblasting and painting.

Both will see several retaining walls supporting the track improved to ensure the longevity of this infrastructure and prepare for future expansion on the Kitchener GO Line.

Stay up to date with improvements to the Kitchener GO Line by signing up the community newsletter, following GO Expansion on Twitter, and by checking Metrolinx News regularly.

*Editor’s Note – the story was amended to reflect possible road closures in July*

by Jessica Scott Metrolinx Community Relations and Issues Specialist