In 1989 the Menesetung Rail Bridge in Goderich was decommissioned and slated for demolition. A group of concerned citizens formed the Menesetung Bridge Association to purchase it and convert it into a walking bridge and trail. Though within weeks of demolition, the Association succeeded in saving the bridge. Since that time we have worked to preserve the Bridge and keep it in good repair.
1904: Construction of the Menesetung Bridge begins, requiring more than 1000 men 50 teams of horses.
1905: One man dies during the project, a train engineer named Emanuel Maddeford, when a gust of wind derails the work engine he is in, plunging him 60 feet into the river below.
1906: The Bridge is completed. It is the longest bridge span in the province at 700 feet in length.
1907: First train crosses the Bridge.
Early 1970s: Last passenger service uses the Bridge.
1989: Last train crosses the Bridge. The Bridge is to be demolished starting December 31st. A group of concerned citizens manages to get an injunction to delay the demolition by 3 months so they can place a down payment to purchase it.
1990: The Menesetung Bridge Association forms. The requisite funds are raised and the Bridge is purchased.
1991: $120,000 is raised to complete the conversion from Rail Bridge to Walking Bridge. $50,000 is raised through selling the planks and railings that make up the walkway.
1992: The conversion is completed and the Bridge and Tiger Dunlop Trail are opened to hikers and bikers.
1993: The Bridge receives a Heritage Designation.
View of Goderich Harbour from the Menesetung Bridge
Maintenance and repair of the Bridge is an ongoing effort. Pier 5 is currently under repair, and nearly complete. The priority concrete repairs have been completed, but over the next decade the top of the piers where the steal beams are seated will need some repair work.
What We've Achieved
- Preventing the demolition of The Menesetung Bridge
- Conversion of the Bridge into a walkable structure.
- Development and maintenance of The Tiger Dunlop Trail.
- Completing repairs to the abutments and piers.