230 cars' worth of pigeon poop 'a significant load' on Buckwold Bridge: city

Workers are removing the equivalent of 230 cars. The stuff dates back decades.

Workers are removing the equivalent of 230 cars of the stuff, which dates back decades

Pigeons roost under the Sid Buckwold Bridge. About 1,500 of them call the bridge home. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Contract workers rehabilitating Saskatoon's Sid Buckwold Bridge got a nasty surprise when they began work a few weeks ago.

They discovered about 350 tons of pigeon poop plastered onto the bridge.

"Piles and piles of bird droppings," is how Trevor Bell, the city's acting director of utilities and environment, put it to city councillors Monday morning.

"They estimate based on volume and converting it to weight that it would be in the order of 350 tons of bird droppings," Bell said.

"When you relate that to a mid-sized vehicle, it's about two 230 cars worth of bird droppings that are sitting on the bridge and providing weight to the bridge."

While not a major concern, "it's just unnecessary weight being held up," Bell said.

Workers are removing decades' worth of accumulated poop from the bridge's underside and girders. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Dates back decades

The Buckwold bridge opened in 1966. 

The city has not cleaned the poop from the bridge in the past, to Bell's knowledge.

"So I think this is a matter of decades of bird droppings," he said.

The workers are removing the stuff, Bell said.

As for the birds, "the contractor is going to be trapping them and humanely euthanizing them," Bell said.

It's estimated some 1,500 pigeons call the Sid Buckwold Bridge home.

The bridge is named after Sydney Buckwold, a dry goods worker-turned city councillor. He was the city's first Jewish mayor.

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

Reporter and web writer for CBC Saskatoon

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