Thousand Islands Bridge

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Thousand Islands International Bridge
Thousand Islands Bridge 5.jpg
A view of the Canadian side of the bridge system from an observation tower just before the border crossing.
Coordinates44°20′50.71″N 75°59′0.6″W / 44.3474194°N 75.983500°W / 44.3474194; -75.983500 (Thousand Islands Bridge)Coordinates: 44°20′50.71″N 75°59′0.6″W / 44.3474194°N 75.983500°W / 44.3474194; -75.983500 (Thousand Islands Bridge)
Carries2 lanes of I-81 and Highway 137
CrossesSaint Lawrence River
LocaleWellesley Island, New York, United States to Hill Island, Ontario, Canada
Official nameThe Thousand Islands Bridge system
Maintained byThousand Islands Bridge Authority
Designsuspension, open-spandrel deck arch bridge & truss bridge[1]
Total lengthTotal: 8.5 mi (13.7 km)
Longest spanAmerican suspension: 800 ft (240 m)
Canadian suspension: 750 ft (230 m)
Canadian truss: 600 ft (180 m)
Clearance belowU.S.: 150 ft (46 m)
Canada: 120 ft (37 m)
Construction startApril 30, 1937; 81 years ago (April 30, 1937)
Opened1937; 81 years ago (1937)
TollVaries $3.00–$17.25 (USD) or $4.00–$23.50 (CAD)[2]

The Thousand Islands International Bridge (French: Pont des Mille-îles) is an international bridge system over the Saint Lawrence River connecting northern New York in the United States with southeastern Ontario in Canada. Constructed in 1937, with additions in 1959, the bridges span the Canada–US border in the middle of the Thousand Islands region. All bridges in the system carry two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, with pedestrian sidewalks. The bridge is managed by an American company. The actual international border bridge crossing is a set of two parallel 90 ft (27 m) long bridges between Wellesley Island in the United States and Hill Island in Canada.


Thousand Islands International Bridge system is a series of five bridges[3] that span parts of the St. Lawrence River, ultimately connecting both banks. The southern end of the bridge connects with Interstate 81 and the northern end of the bridge connects to Highway 401 via Highway 137. There is also an interchange with the Thousand Islands Parkway on the Ontario side.

The bridge suffered aerodynamic-related structural problems (oscillations) shortly after its opening, these were quickly corrected via structural upgrades.[4]


The bridge system is administered by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, a New York State public benefit corporation, whose seven board members are appointed by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. Four board members are US citizens and three are Canadian citizens.[5] The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority also maintains and administers Boldt Castle.

Tolls are paid only by cash, or with a Commuter Discount Fare Card, which is good for either 16 trips (US$20.00) or 72 trips (US$32.00). No electronic toll collection transponders are currently offered or accepted, although the Bridge Authority has joined the multi-state E-ZPass consortium and was planning to introduce ETC in 2019.[6] The Bridge Authority offers sales of transponders of Florida's SunPass, for the convenience of Canadian travelers en route to Florida.[7]


From ground-breaking ceremonies to completion, the entire Thousand Islands Bridge system took sixteen months to complete, which was ten weeks ahead of schedule. The total cost was $3,050,000. In the early years of its operation, the bridge usually had 150,000 vehicle crossings annually. Today, however, annual crossings exceed 2,000,000 vehicles.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Thousand Islands International Bridge Facts". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  2. ^ Thousand Islands Bridge Authority Toll Rate Classification Schedule, 1 April 2018, retrieved 21 July 2018
  3. ^ "Our History :". Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  4. ^ "In the Wake of Tacoma", pg. 59-60, ISBN 0-7844-0542-5.
  5. ^ "Authority Info". Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Florida's SunPass electronic toll device soon to be accepted in more states". miamiherald. Retrieved 27 February 2016.

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