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Pont de Grand-Mère (Grand-Mère Bridge)

Pont de Grand-Mère (Grand-Mère Bridge)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 10, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
QC-153 Over Rivière Saint-Maurice
Location
Grand-Mère (Shawinigan): Mauricie, Québec: Canada
Structure Type
Metal Pony Truss Stiffening Wire Cable Suspension, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Girder, Fixed

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
950 Feet (290 Meters)
Structure Length
1,102 Feet (336 Meters)
Roadway Width
26 Feet (7.92 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 1 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge was noted in the engineering community as the first suspension bridge of its kind in respect to the main cable design. The design consisted of prefabricated, prestressed wires laid out in a twisted or spiral form which is known as a rope strand. The engineering firm of Robinson and Steinman (led by the famous David B. Steinman) was the engineering firm for this bridge, although noted Canadian engineer Philip Louis Pratley was also a consultant on the project. This suspension bridge is visually unusual as it crosses the river at a relatively low level and has only one short approach span at the west end. Most suspension bridges are major high level bridges over navigable rivers with extensive approach systems. The single approach span on this bridge appears to be of modern construction. Wikipedia claims that the western approach span was built in 1917 by Laurentide Pulp and Paper, which clearly refers to a span older than the one seen today. However, this implies that when the suspension bridge was built in 1928, it made use of this preexisting 1917 approach span, which likely deteriorated in modern times and has therefore been replaced with the modern girder span seen today. Werner Lichtenberger contacted HistoricBridges.org and confirmed he remembers a through truss as an approach span to the bridge, and he further speculated that the truss span could have been the access bridge that was used for the old ferry landing. 

The suspension span is unaltered and retains excellent historic integrity. Fraser, Brace and Company, Limited was the general contractor for the bridge. However a missing plaque on the bridge left a scar in the shape of plaques from the Canadian Bridge Company of Walkerville, Ontario who was the fabricator of the steel for the bridge. The bridge features pony truss stiffening with a depth of 12 feet 2 inches. The width of the bridge is 26 feet, and as originally designed the roadway was 18 feet with two sidewalks each 3 feet 5 inches wide. The main cables featured 37 steel strands, with each strand composed of 35 steel wires. The towers are a rocker tower type.

Above: Historical photo showing ferry landing from before the bridge was built. Note the through truss access bridge.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Pont de Grand-Mère (Grand-Mère Bridge)

 
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Structure Overview
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A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. 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: Pont de Grand-Mère (Grand-Mère Bridge)

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