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Seaway International Bridge

South Channel Bridge

Seaway International Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 19, 2013 and April 7, 2018

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and Videos
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Key Facts

Location
Cornwall: St. Lawrence County, New York and Stormont Dundas and Glengarry United Counties, Ontario: Canada and United States
Structure Type
Metal Pony Truss Stiffening Wire Cable Suspension, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1958 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Company of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
895 Feet (273 Meters)
Structure Length
3,480 Feet (1,061 Meters)
Roadway Width
27 Feet (8.23 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 22 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
5523220

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View The Seaway International Bridge Official Website

About This Bridge

Originally known as the Cornwall-Massena International Bridge, this bridge is more recently known as the Seaway International Bridge. The border crossing this bridge provides was recently given the honorary name of Three Nations Crossing. The Seaway International Bridge is actually two distinct bridges that hop across an island in the St. Lawrence River. The bridges include the South Channel Bridge, and the North Channel Bridge. The two bridges are often referred to as a single bridge, but from an engineering standpoint they are clearly two bridges, and as such are represented by separate pages on HistoricBridges.org. The South Channel Bridge was also built a several years before the North Channel Bridge was completed.

This bridge is a wire cable suspension bridge. The towers of the bridge have a heavy lattice design on the braces. The stiffening is a pony truss design, although a fair amount of the truss is actually below the deck like a deck truss. The stiffening truss follows a Warren truss configuration. The bridge has a traditional layout with three fully suspended spans. A cable bent is present where the orientation of the main cables change and are directed straight down into the anchorages. A series of deck plate girder spans provide an approach to the bridge.

This bridge is in a very unusual location. The bridge connects to a Canadian island south of the mainland. The island is Canadian soil, but is also part of an international Native American / First Nations reservation that extends south of the Canadian border into the United States. The residents of the island opposed the location of the Canadian customs in the traditional location on the island where the South Channel Bridge touches down on Canadian soil. Therefore, the customs were moved to north of the North Channel Bridge. This makes for an unusual situation. If someone is in the United States and goes to the island (Canadian soil) and then returns to the United States without crossing the North Channel Bridge, they will have visited Canada without going through Canadian customs! They will still have to go through American customs to get back in to the United States. This is a most unusual situation.

Former Bridges At This Location

There is an interesting history of previous bridges at this location that is worth taking a look at.

The previous North Channel Bridge was an impressive truss bridge that consisted of a large cantilever truss and also a pin-connected through truss swing span. The bridge was originally built as a railway bridge, but in 1933 it was converted to support vehicular traffic as well. The bridge was originally known as the Ottawa & New York Railway Bridge. The images above show this bridge.

In 1909, the swing span was destroyed when a problem with the locks caused a flood. The photo above shows the collapsed swing bridge. This was replaced following collapse.

Separate of the main bridges, there was also a pony truss swing bridge that carried traffic over the canal only. This bridge is shown above.

The former South Channel Bridge was opened to traffic in 1900. It was a three span pin-connected Parker truss bridge as shown in the images above. The stone piers of this bridge remain and can be seen east of the suspension bridge.

When both former bridges served vehicular traffic, they were called the Roosevelt International Bridges, a name given in 1934.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Seaway International Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
2013 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2013 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2018 Additional Unorganized Photos
Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2018 Additional Unorganized Photos
Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Seaway International Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
44.989810,-74.739480

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