The Lewiston Queenston Bridge is not the oldest bridge around, however as of 2013 it is over 50 years old and is worthy of consideration as a historic bridge. Its very large size, and example of a structure type that is generally uncommon, despite the examples found on the Niagara River, make it historically significant. Its superstructure also appears to be largely unaltered. This being the case, as of 2013, the Niagara River, short as it may be, is unique since every bridge crossing it has some level of heritage significance. The beauty of the Niagara River hopefully will continue to remain untainted by ugly, modern bridges for many decades to come.
The Lewiston Queenston Bridge was the replacement bridge for a previous bridge, the Queenston Lewiston Bridge (note the city names are swapped in the name). The Queenston Lewiston Bridge was a suspension bridge that was relocated to Queenston and Lewiston from Niagara Falls when the Upper Steel Arch Bridge was built at Niagara Falls to replace the suspension bridge. This suspension bridge was located closer to Queenston and Lewiston than the current arch bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge and the Lewiston Queenston Bridge are often compared to each other and the newer Lewiston Queenston Bridge is often described as a replica of the Rainbow Bridge. While the Lewiston Queenston Bridge did
apparently use some of the designs from the Rainbow Bridge and its main arch span from a distance looks nearly identical to the Rainbow Bridge, many differences are worth noting between the two bridges. Examining these differences also
reveals several interesting facts about each bridge.
The Lewiston Queenston Bridge has riveted deck plate girder approach spans, while the Rainbow Bridge has concrete arch approach spans. The bracing the for the older Rainbow Bridge has built-up beams with v-lacing, which was typical for the period in which it was built. The newer Lewiston Queenston Bridge also has built-up beams for the bracing, but in contrast these beams lack v-lacing and instead uses plate with holes in place of the v-lacing, which in turn was typical for this bridge's period of construction. The Lewiston Queenston Bridge and Rainbow Bridges were also erected using two completely different methods. The Rainbow Bridge was erected with the assistance of arch tiebacks which were temporary towers with stays that held the arch in place until it was completed and able to support itself. The Lewiston Queenston Bridge on the other hand was erected with the use of falsework bents that sloped away from the edges of the waterway up to the arch to hold the arch up from below until it was able to support itself.
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