Heron Road Bridge collapse remembered 50 years later

The Heron Road Workers Memorial Bridge plaque was unveiled on Wednesday August 10th during a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Heron Road Bridge collapse, one of the worst industrial accidents in Ottawa’s and Canada’s history. Nine workers perished and several were severely injured as a result of this tragic incident.

 

After the collapse, the Ontario Government launched an inquiry into the accident. It was concluded that the wooden falsework did not have adequate diagonal and longitudinal bracing to help support the bridge during the pouring of the concrete. This finding led to changes in the methods used to construct bridges, and inspired the Province of Ontario to rewrite its act governing construction safety standards.

During the ceremony, a plaque was unveiled that commemorates the naming of Heron Road Workers Memorial Bridge. The plaque is complemented by a national memorial that is located nearby, in Vincent Massey Park. The monument was dedicated by the Canadian Labour Congress in 1987 and memorializes the names of the nine workers who lost their lives due to the Heron Road Bridge collapse.

I invite you to read the articles recently written by Bruce Deachman of the Ottawa Citizen who speaks about the nine individual workers and reflects further on the disaster.