If you have ever been to New Brunswick in Canada, and you have seen an expensive bridge going out over the Northumberland Strait, you may not have known what the bridge was or where it went. This is actually called the Confederation Bridge, a bridge that comes out of New Brunswick and goes across all the way to Prince Edward Island. Although it was once referred to as the Fixed Link, they originally settled on the current name. The construction of the bridge began back in the 1990s, taking four years, ending in 1997. It cost over $1 billion in Canadian money, and is about 8 miles long. Here is an overview of how the bridge was made, the tolls that are charged, and the history of its development.
The Structure Of The Bridge
The bridge itself is part of the Trans-Canada Highway. It acts as a toll bridge, having to separate lanes. It is a multispan beam bridg that is constructed with a concrete box girder structure, and is curved from one end to the other. There are a total of over 60 piers, roughly 800 feet apart. It is 36 feet wide, nearly twice the width of the Great Wall of China. It has a very low speed limit, only 50 mph, and it only takes 12 minutes to go from one end to the other. It actually costs almost C$50 to use the bridge, and it can only be crossed by motor vehicles.
Why Was It Made?
It was actually designed to replace a ferry service, something that was not readily accepted by the people on the island because of how year-round traffic from tourists would affect their lives. In fact, even those that were part of the tourist industry were very upset by this decision because it cut into their profits. During this time, this is where Canadians began to refer to this as a fixed link, the name of the bridge until it was officially named Confederation Bridge. Today it is perfectly normal to see the bridge during the day or night, and the use of ferries as a primary form of transportation to and from the island has become a thing of the past.
Other Facts About The Bridge
Prior to the construction of the bridge, there were some proposals to create a railway tunnel beneath the bridge. There were also concerns about how the bridge would be made based upon the strong tides in the waters of the Northumberland Strait. Financing also became problematic, resulting in a company that would release bonds that could be purchased in order to generate the money. Even the name of the bridge caused a lot of conflict because the word Confederation was used with a number of other companies including the ferries, shopping centers, art galleries, and the rails to trails system. However, once it was completed, and the name was accepted, we now have this beautiful bridge that exist today. Also visit their Official Website for more information.
This bridge is the result of a substantial amount of planning, as well as taking into consideration the businesses and lives that it would affect not only in New Brunswick, but the people of Prince Edward Island that were very used to, and happy with, some form of isolation. However, it has all worked out as it continues to generate revenue, and provide convenience, for citizens on both sides of the bridge that use this every day.