A "send off" will be held for London's iconic Blackfriars bridge Thursday, ahead of its removal so it can be restored to its former glory. 

The 140-year-old structure is believed to be the only surviving wrought-iron, bow-string truss bridge in Canada and has served as a crossing over the Thames River since 1875. 

The crossing has been closed to vehicle traffic since 2013 over fears that it had become so corroded it might collapse under the weight. 

Last month, the bridge was closed to all traffic as crews began the process to prepare for the bridge's removal and dismantling. 

On Thursday morning, a collection of local dignitaries will gather at the bridge in a ceremony that will herald the Victorian-era structure's removal and restoration. 

After that, the bridge will be dismantled and transported offsite, where crews hope to restore it in a $7.9-million project, at an unspecified date. 

The bridge is slated to be returned to its original spot and re-open to the public next spring. 

Blackfriars Bridge London, Ontario

Built in 1875, Blackfriars Bridge is the longest existing wrought-iron, bowstring-truss span known in North America. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this article said that the Blackfriars Bridge would be removed on Thursday, when in fact the City of London is holding a 'send off' ceremony on that date.
    Nov 14, 2017 2:38 PM ET