One of the first bridges constructed in Caledonia, Ontario (built in 1842) included a wooden swinging structure. This bridge was designed to allow boats to pass below.
In 1875, the bridge was reconstructed into a six span bridge, and much of it was replaced with iron – the only piece of the old structure that remained was the swinging section – because it was no longer being used for boat traffic.
The bridge remained functional until one fateful day in August of 1925, when the structure collapsed two spans in – under a truck that was carrying a load of stone. The truck and the driver dropped down into the river – the driver escaped, uninjured.
The commotion caused by the sound of the truck breaking through the structure an falling was later referred to as the ‘bang that woke the town’ by the Sachem Gazette.
The bridge was again reconstructed in 1927, and became the very first reinforced concrete bridge in history – it is still recognized as the only nine span bridge of it’s kind in Canada!