Vol. 13, no. 2. August/août 2004

Did You Know?

The Victoria Railroad Bridge, erected near Montreal in 1859, was the 1st bridge across the St. Lawrence from the Thousand Islands to the Ocean. It was a single-track tubular box-girder, constructed of wrought iron sheet and angles joined by rivets, the design and the materials having been brought from Britain. In 1898 it was replaced on the same piers by a truss bridge, the steel coming from the USA; it was now double-tracked, with roadways on each side.
The Canadian-designed cantilever bridge near Quebec City still stands as the longest such span in the world. However, the first American attempt collapsed in construction due to under-design. The final successful bridge, that included high-strength steel from the USA in critical members, was opened in 1917, having been delayed by the dropping of the suspended mid-span through failure of lifting jacks. The Pierre-Laporte bridge that paralleled the Quebec bridge in 1970, is a suspension span, the longest in Canada.

Hugh J. McQueen, Professor Emeritus