The Region of Waterloo has acted swiftly to temporarily close the West Montrose Covered Bridge to horse drawn buggies and vehicles, after discovering a cracked support beam Thursday night.

Shawn Buckley, Senior Transportation Infrastructure Engineer with the Region, told 570 News  residents he has spoken with understand the bridge is old, and that some vehicles over the weight restrictions have over-loaded it.

Buckley estimates how long the repairs should take, “We are really hoping that we can get it done in the next couple weeks, I think that is probably being optimistic, but we’ll know more early next week when we determine the nature of the repair, and what is required. I.E. whether we have to get into the water or not. It’s likely we’ll have to be in the water to do it,” said Buckley.

Tony Dowling, a spokesperson with Bridge Keepers, said he has watched tourists with mid-sized campers, delivery truck drivers who don’t know the area, and even farmers with heavy wagons driving over the Kissing Bridge.

“This is a good opportunity to highlight just how important, but also how fragile and in need of care that bridge is, and I think people need to give it a little more consideration and care than they do sometimes,” said Dowling

Drivers are being asked to de-tour using Line 86 to the North-East when crossing the Grand River, however, you can still walk across the bridge.

Mike.McCulloch@rci.rogers.com