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.
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Original / Full Size Photos
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