Demolition of the Bayview Bridge

Bayview bridge demolition

Pictured here in 1961 is the demolition of the Bayview Bridge in Toronto.

The Bayview bridge was built in 1929 by the North York Township to address the ever increasing car and truck traffic.

However, by the late-1950s load restrictions of 10 tonnes and 50 km were required due to deterioration of the structure. 

A contract was awarded in 1960 to build an upgraded version of the Bayview Bridge adjacent to the original bridge. In fact, the piers for the bridge were of a design that resembled the original ones, but much studier.

With the completion of the replacement bridge in 1961, demolition work began to dismantle the 1929 bridge deck, structural steel and piers.

This was ‘old school demolition’ using a crane and wrecking ball along with a cable backhoe and dozer.

Hardhats seemed to be optional.

The Bucyrus-Erie 30 B cable backhoe, rated as a 1.15 cubic metre capacity machine, would have been powered by a 6-71 Detroit Diesel or similarly rated horsepower Caterpillar or Cummins engines.

The smaller Bucyrus-Erie machine, a model 22 B shown here on crane duty was a familiar sight on construction projects in the era. More than 7,000 units were produced.

By 1927, Bucyrus had merged with the Erie Steam Shovel Company to become Bucyrus-Erie with the main plant located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

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However, in the 1950s a Canadian connection existed as some models were built in B-E satellite plants located in Guelph, Ontario as well as in Nova Scotia. 

To see more than 60 restored pieces of vintage construction equipment in action, be sure to attend Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) Canada’s  October event, ‘Last Blast’ on Oct. 17, to be held at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie, Ontario.

HCEA Canada is a Proud Community Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum.