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International Railway Bridge

International Railway Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 20, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railway (Canadian National) Over Niagara River
Buffalo and Fort Erie: Erie County, New York and Niagara Region, Ontario: Canada and United States
Structure Type
Metal Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Movable: Swing (Center Pier) and Approach Spans: Metal 7 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1901 By Builder/Contractor: Detroit Bridge and Iron Works of Detroit, Michigan and Engineer/Design: Joseph Hobson

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
358 Feet (109 Meters)
Structure Length
1,968 Feet (600 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 7 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View A Historical Article About This Bridge's Construction

View A Historical Report About The Previous 1873 Bridge At This Location

Many sources report that this bridge was built in 1873, however to say this is extremely misleading. A through truss with Phoenix columns was built here in 1873. In 1901, a completely new superstructure replaced the 1873 bridge. The original 1873 piers were reused to support this new bridge, and these piers are the only thing that survives from the 1873 bridge. As such, this should be considered a 1901 bridge that reused portions of a former bridge.

This bridge is a very long surviving example of a pin-connected truss bridge. It features 7 fixed spans and a swing span, which has not operated for boats for many decades. The bridge remains open to trains. The bridge was rehabilitated ca. 2000. During this rehabilitation a number of alterations took place. Much of the flooring system was replaced, and portions of the diagonal members, in particular the turnbuckles, were replaced.

Despite alteration, this bridge remains a significant example of its type, noteworthy for its length and use of pinned connections. The bridge also has an attractive portal bracing with decorative knee bracing and a portal cresting with the name International Bridge on it.


Photo Galleries and Videos: International Railway Bridge

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