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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. Historical photos later discovered (see historical article link) clearly show the through truss span as a through truss span. The article states that the Laurentide Company constructed this 155 foot truss span in 1917 to facilitate the passing pulpwood logs to its paper mill.
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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