Meech Creek Bridge in Chelsea Quebec

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The Meech Creek Bridge is a historic covered bridge in the Meech Creek Valley of Gatineau Park, between Chelsea and Wakefield. This beautiful wooden bridge spans Meech Creek, a picturesque waterway through the valley. Built in 1932, the Meech Creek Bridge is one of the few remaining covered bridges in Quebec, and it is a cherished landmark in the region.

Construction and Specifications

The Meech Creek Bridge is a Town Lattice truss bridge, with a length of 65 feet and a height clearance of 3.7 meters. It is capable of bearing a load of up to 12 tonnes, and it has an official number of 61-25-12. The bridge was built in 1932, though it was thought to have been constructed in 1924 until the discovery of archival photos in 2016 corrected this mistake.

Construction of the covered bridge, 1932. Credits: gvhs.ca

Maintenance and Repairs

Over the years, the Meech Creek Bridge has undergone several repairs and maintenance projects. In 1984, major repairs were carried out on the bridge, and in 1991, a wind gust ripped off the roof of the bridge. The bridge deck has also had to be replaced due to wear and tear, with major work being done in September and October of 2010. Despite these challenges, the bridge has stood the test of time and remains in service to this day.

Interesting Facts

One of the unique features of the Meech Creek Bridge is that it is visible from the inside via Google Street View, making it one of the few covered bridges that can be explored virtually. Additionally, the bridge is located in a scenic area of Gatineau Park that is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and stargazing.

About the History of Covered Wooden Bridges

Covered bridges have a rich history in North America, particularly in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. These bridges were built with wooden trusses and covered with a roof to protect the structure from the elements, particularly from the harsh winters in the region. The first covered bridges were built in the early 19th century, and they quickly became an important part of the transportation infrastructure in rural areas. By the mid-19th century, there were thousands of covered bridges in North America.

Today, many covered bridges have been lost due to neglect, natural disasters, or modernization of transportation infrastructure. However, there are still many remaining covered bridges that serve as important landmarks and cultural icons. The Meech Creek Bridge is a beautiful example of a historic covered bridge that continues to be a cherished landmark in the community.

Plan Your Visit to the Meech Creek Bridge

If you're interested in visiting the Meech Creek Bridge and exploring the scenic Meech Creek Valley, there are several activities and facilities available to visitors. The area is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing, depending on the season. There are also several day shelters and parking lots available for visitors. However, it's important to note that the Meech Creek Valley is a conservation area, and visitors should follow the principles of outdoor ethics to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

Directions

The most direct way to access Meech Creek Valley is from parking lot P16, which is open year-round and is a picturesque park with a lake, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a playground. It's a great place to spend a day with family and friends. During the summer, you can rent paddle boats and canoes to explore the lake, or just relax on the sandy beach. In the winter, you can go ice skating on the frozen lake or enjoy some hot cocoa in the cozy warming house.

If you're interested in history, be sure to visit P17, which is home to a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion. The mansion offers guided tours and hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including holiday festivities and concerts.

If you're looking for a more urban experience, P18 is the place to be. This park is located in the heart of downtown and offers stunning views of the city skyline. It's a popular spot for jogging, picnicking, and people-watching.

The Meech Creek Bridge is a hidden gem that should not be missed. Its unique design, rich history, and tranquil surroundings make it a must-see for anyone visiting Chelsea, Quebec. Come and experience the beauty and charm of this covered wooden bridge for yourself!

The Meech Creek Bridge is a hidden gem that should not be missed. Its unique design, rich history, and tranquil surroundings make it a must-see for anyone visiting Chelsea, Quebec. Come and experience the beauty and charm of this covered wooden bridge for yourself!

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135 Chem. Cross Loop, Chelsea, QC J9B 2K1

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