The Guelph Bridge, a 1992 project, may still hold the record for the most ambitious project the Guild has ever undertaken—and it took place in conjunction with a conference. Not only was the structure very long, but it needed to be rolled, when assembled, to the edge of a river, where the whole thing was set in place by two very large cranes. The conference went on, but timber framers spent most of their conference at the bridge site, hustling with all their might to create the structure.
The project was a 132-ft.-span pedestrian crossing over the Speed River in Guelph, Ontario, bridging a gap in the city's trail system. It required extended negotiations with the city, careful concessions to the river's conservation authority, over a year of planning, a month of construction before the conference (including rectifying incorrectly-sawn timber), hand-raising of the two giant Town lattice trusses, 37 teams cutting and test-joining their custom-fitted roof trusses in three hours, sheathing, decking and roofing the frame, hand-rolling the bridge out over the water to its final pick point for the two cranes (linked by automatic controls) that lifted it in tandem the rest of the way to straddle the river — and, finally, a wedding. The City of Guelph is eternally grateful for this valiant effort.
City of Guelph, Ontario
Local TFG hero
Very large Town Lattice truss pedestrian bridge that was pulled, rolled, and craned into place. Bridge expert Jan Lewandoski and his crew came out a month early to build the two giant Town lattice trusses. All-out effort by a significant portion of the membership.
Scott Murray, Jan Lewandoski, Ed Levin, Ben Brungraber, Joel McCarty, Jonathan Orpin.
Guelph Bridge: 400 Timber Framers Build a Bridge in Guelph, Ont. (YouTube: ThomasVideo1983)
David L. Brill, Ken Rower, Russell Ley, Mark Crabtree
Click on a photo to enlarge.