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Thousand Islands Bridge

International Rift Bridge

Thousand Islands Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 19, 2013
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
I-81 and KH-137 Over St. Lawrence River (International Rift)
Rural: Leeds and Grenville United Counties, Ontario and Jefferson County, New York: Canada and United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1938 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
95.8 Feet (29.2 Meters)
Structure Length
101.7 Feet (31 Meters)
Roadway Width
30 Feet (9.14 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

The Thousand Islands Bridge is actually three distinct bridges that hop across islands in the St. Lawrence River. The bridges include the U.S. Bridge, the International Rift Bridge, and the Canadian Bridge. The three bridges are often referred to as a single bridge, but from an engineering standpoint they are clearly three bridges, and as such are represented by separate pages on HistoricBridges.org.

The International Rift Bridge is the smallest of the three portions of the bridge system, but is also the actual international crossing. Some sources have claimed that this is the smallest international bridge around. The bridge was originally built in 1938. The design was a single concrete rigid-frame bridge with stone facing, a design that was not uncommon among limited access highways being built during this period in New York State. Rigid-frame bridges (although not with stone facing) were also popular in Ontario at this time. In 1959, a second rigid-frame bridge of the same design was built east of the original bridge to carry northbound traffic, while the original bridge carried southbound traffic. In 2004, the 1959 (northbound) bridge was widened to accommodate a third lane.

The Thousand Islands Bridge celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2013, and a number of historical photos were released as part of the events by the Thousand Island Bridge Authority.

Below is a historical postcard showing the original bridge all by itself, before the second bridge was built.


Photos and Videos: Thousand Islands Bridge

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