Queenston Lewiston Bridge
April 12, 2019
Queenston Lewiston Bridge

After the War of 1812, many families settled along the Niagara River in the communities of Queenston and Lewiston. Both settlements became international trade and commerce hubs. Ferry boat services were developed to cross the border between Canada and the USA.The suspension bridge construction began in 1850 under the direction of engineer Edward W. Serrell. The Queenston - Lewiston Suspension Bridge was completed on March 20th 1851. The bridge was 841 feet (257m) long and 20 feet (6m) wide. The suspension cables were 1040 feet (317 m) long. The bridge was used for horse & buggy and pedestrian traffic. On February 3rd 1854, a storm with gale force winds caused the center span of the bridge to fall to the Niagara River below. With no bridge to cross, ferry boat service was once again used to shuttle people and materials from one side of the border to the other side.In the autumn of 1898, work on the second Queenston - Lewiston Suspension Bridge began under the direction of engineer Leffert L. Buck. The towers, cables and iron rods from the first bridge remained. They replaced the old towers with much larger ones. The dismantled Falls View Suspension Bridge was moved to Queenston - Lewiston where parts of it were used for the construction of the new bridge. The new bridge weighed approximately 1000 tons. Nearly 800 tons of steel for this bridge had been salvaged from the dismantled Upper Suspension Bridge. The second Queenston - Lewiston Suspension Bridge was officially opened on July 21st 1899. This new bridge ended the ferry service which had operated since the collapse of the first Queenston - Lewiston Bridge. This bridge remained in service until November 2nd 1962 when it was replaced with a larger and more modern third Queenston - Lewiston steel arch bridge.Discussions about the need to replace the second Queenston - Lewiston Bridge began in 1953. The new Queenston-Lewiston Steel Arch Bridge was officially opened on November 1st 1962. It is located 5 miles 98 km) north of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge and .7 miles (1.1km) south of the old Queenston-Lewiston Suspension Bridge. This Queenston - Lewiston Steel Arch Bridge is a replica of the Rainbow Bridge. The arch span is 1,000 feet (304.8m) long. The total length of the bridge from abutment to abutment is 1,600 feet (488m). The deck is 370 feet (113m) above the river and consists of five reversible traffic lanes. The steel bridge is built extra strong because occasionally, on some days, there are several lanes of loaded trucks standing on the bridge with all the weight (wait) to go through international customs for the border crossing.

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