Powerscourt Covered Bridge

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Percy Covered Bridge
Pont Percy - Powerscourt
Aqk Percy Aug2005.jpg
View (August 2005) looking upriver, from the West bank (Elgin)
Coordinates 45°00′31″N 74°09′34″W / 45.00871°N 74.15953°W / 45.00871; -74.15953Coordinates: 45°00′31″N 74°09′34″W / 45.00871°N 74.15953°W / 45.00871; -74.15953
Carries 2-lane road (reduced to one lane + 2 sidewalks in 2010)
Crosses Chateauguay River
Locale Between Elgin and Hinchinbrooke
Design McCallum Truss
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)
Clearance above 3 m (9.8 ft)
Opened 1861
Daily traffic Automotive and pedestrian
Official name Powerscourt Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada
Designated 1984
Type Classified heritage immovable
Designated 1987

The Powerscourt Covered Bridge, alternately known as the "Percy Covered Bridge" spans the Chateauguay River, between the municipalities of Elgin and Hinchinbrooke, in SouthWest Quebec.[1]


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.[2]

The bridge was also named an Historic Monument of Quebec in 1987.[3]

Construction Details[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]