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Chief William Commanda Bridge

Prince of Wales Bridge

Chief William Commanda Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Ian Graham

Bridge Documented: September 4, 2018

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Ottawa and Gatineau: Ottawa City, Ontario and Outaouais, Québec: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1926 By Builder/Contractor: Dominion Bridge Company of Montréal, Québec
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
258.5 Feet (78.8 Meters)
Structure Length
2,152.5 Feet (656.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
13 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

In all reality this is two bridges with Lemieux Island in the middle. Pictured above is the north bridge, and the southern bridge is shown in a photo below. The spans are all about the same size except for one span on the northern bridge which is notably longer although the truss configuration is the same.

History of the previous structure on site is available at this website. Note that the current bridge's piers were reused from this structure. History of the current structure and other rail bridges in the area is at this website.

Given overall bridge length above is the length of the north and south bridges added together, not including the portion of the railway on the island. From Hull to Lemieux Island the north bridge spans a total of 1209' (369m) with 6 piers and 7 trusses. The south bridge between Ottawa and Lemieux Island spans 943.5' (288m) and has 5 piers and 6 trusses. The length of the trusses from Gatineau to Lemieux Island are : 163' 9" (49.9m), 258' 7" (78.8m), 138' 8" (42.3m), 153'9" (46.9m), 153' 7" (46.8m), 153' 7"(46.8m), 153' 8" (46.8m) and the length of the trusses from Lemieux Island to Ottawa are: 6 spans of 153' 9" (46.9m) each.

The bridge has been closed to railway traffic for some time. The bridge has been the source of much discussion and controversy in terms of what the future use of the bridge should be. Most discussions have tended toward a pedestrian usage, but a new rail related use has even been considered. Fortunately the discussions usually focus on reusing the existing heritage bridge so the bridge appears to be safe from demolition for the time being. As of July 2021, a final plan appears to have materialized that will preserve this important heritage bridge for pedestrian use. The bridge has also been renamed to Chief William Commanda Bridge as part of this project.

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Above: The southern bridge.

Above: Historical photo from Phoenix Bridge Company catalog showing previous bridge at this location.


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