In the 1960s, discussion began about the need for another roadway to run east-west in the city. Thorold Stone Road and Lundy’s Lane were operating near capacity. Morrison Street started at River Road and ran all the way to Drummond Road, but didn’t cross the hydro canal. At the same time, concerns were raised about the condition of the Portage Road bridge over the canal. Attempts to keep the bridge in operation with load restrictions had failed, as heavy vehicles continued to use it, weakening it structurally.
A plan was conceived to reroute Morrison between Portage and Drummond, and extend it all the way to Dorchester Road by constructing a new bridge. Portage Road would also be realigned to veer west and connect to Morrison instead of needing its own bridge to cross the canal. Businesses and citizens lobbied heavily to keep the Portage bridge open, to prevent loss of traffic for businesses, and to preserve the original path of the historic Portage Road. After years of studies and proposals, the bridge was reduced to a single lane, then pedestrian access only, then closed. By January 1985 it had been demolished.
Mullen Garden Market, which backs on the hydro canal, is just west of the Morrison bridge.
There will be a poster of a historic photo on site at this location during the summer of 2017.