Powerscourt Covered Bridge
|Percy Covered Bridge
Pont Percy - Powerscourt
View (August 2005) looking upriver, from the West bank (Elgin)
|Carries||2-lane road (reduced to one lane + 2 sidewalks in 2010)|
|Locale||Between Elgin and Hinchinbrooke|
|Total length||51 m (167 ft)|
|Width||6.2 m (20 ft)|
|Height||8 m (26 ft) to top|
|Longest span||26 m (85 ft)|
|Vertical clearance||3 m (9.8 ft)|
|Daily traffic||Automotive and pedestrian|
|Official name: Powerscourt Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada|
A road bridge (now open only to light automotive traffic), it was constructed in 1861, and employs the McCallum inflexible arched truss, developed by Daniel McCallum. This extremely strong wooden truss was, until then, used only in the construction of railroad bridges across North America.
With the advent of steel replacing wood in railroad bridge construction in the second half of the 19th Century, all wooden railroad bridges were gradually replaced by steel ones. As it was not a railroad bridge, the Percy bridge remains to this day as an anomaly, and is the sole McCallum truss bridge left in the world.
It is the oldest covered bridge in Canada. Built only a year or so after the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, the Percy bridge, unlike the Victoria, still retains its original shape, its original architecture, and indeed most of its original materials to this day. Using these criteria, it may be argued that the Percy bridge is the oldest bridge in Canada, covered or otherwise.
The Powerscourt Covered Bridge was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984 because:
- it is the only known example of a McCallum inflexible arched truss bridge still in existence;
- it is one of the oldest covered bridges that exists in Canada.
The Powerscourt Covered Bridge is the only McCallum Inflexible Arched Truss bridge extant in the world.
The unique curved roof line over the arched trusses distinguishes it from all other covered bridges.
- 1984 Report by Robert W. Passfield, HISTORIC SITES AND MONUMENTS BOARD OF CANADA
- Powerscourt Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Pont couvert de Powerscourt. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Powerscourt, website 2011
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NY-332, "Powerscourt Bridge, Spanning Chateauguay River, First Concession Road, Elgin/Hichinbrooke, Huntingdon County, Quebec", 13 photos, 7 measured drawings, 8 data pages, 1 photo caption page