Historical Restoration and Preservation of the Kissing Bridge : An ice blasting case study

Posted On September 9, 2015

Constructed in the early 1880s, the historic Covered Bridge has lived to play a significant role, which goes beyond its transportation function. For many centuries, the Covered Bridge has functioned as a familiar and distinctive landmark which contributes to a strong sense of place and helped to tell the story of the region of Waterloo.

Known as the “kissing bridge” due to the purported tradition of the toll being a kiss. Originally, this, the second oldest surviving bridge in the region was built completely out of wood but over time hardy materials have been used to replace the supports, piers as well as deck.

Many tourists from different parts of the world come to visit Waterloo to experience the scenic beauty, which the Covered Bridge offers. With more tourists there comes more revenue. With more revenue, the government is able to build more schools, social amenities as well as road infrastructure to improve the living standards. However without its structural originality, it will not attract many visitors hence the need to keep on attempting to restore it to its original form.


In 1904,the government began a major restoration project in an attempt to reinstate the bridge into its original form when it was closed for the first time as workers covered the original oak floor with plank. More than 2 decades later, the wooden trusses were replaced followed by repeated replacement over time up to this date. Today the modern Covered Bridge comprises of a combination of wood, stone, steel, asphalt and concrete, all these components have been put to help preserve its originality and structural integrity.

While the responsibility of the preservation of this historic landmark largely lies on government, local communities also place huge importance on keeping the bridge in good working order, and ensuring it is aesthetically pleasing too. 

Keeping the bridge in good condition via the use of Dry Ice Blasting

Dry Ice blasting has been used more recently to ensure the bridge keeps its pleasing interior, and has been chosen as a method of cleaning due to it’s ability to clean without causing lasting damage to the makeup of the bridge itself. 

Ice blasting has been chosen as a method of cleaning the Covered Bridge not only for it’s ability to clean without damaging the original material but also due to the fact that, like councils across the country, a low carbon footprint is a pre requisite when obtaining services, and dry ice blasting certainly comes in as one of the most eco friendly methods of cleaning as there is no secondary waste. 

The Covered Bridge has been involved in countless social events to date and the region of Waterloo is recognised globally by this magnificent structure, being marketed in countless tour brochures. Thanks to the application of dry ice blasting, cleaning it no longer carries the threat of damage it once did.