Thousand Islands Bridge

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Thousand Islands International Bridge
Thousand Islands Bridge 5.jpg
A view of the Canadian parts of the bridge system as ON-137 traverses the St Lawrence River across Constance Island and then Georgina Island to reach Ontario mainland. Picture taken looking north from a Hill Island observation tower just north of the Canadian border with the US.
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
Characteristics
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)
History
Construction startApril 30, 1937; 82 years ago (April 30, 1937)
Opened1937; 82 years ago (1937)
Statistics
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 American-maintained 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.

Structure[edit]

Thousand Islands International Bridge system is a series of five bridges[3] that span parts of the St. Lawrence River, ultimately connecting both banks. From south to north:

  1. American mainland to Wellesley Island (main span[1])
  2. Wellesley Island to Hill Island (international crossing)
  3. Hill Island to Constance Island
  4. Constance Island to Georgina Island
  5. Georgina Island to Canadian mainland

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 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.

Administration[edit]

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.[4] The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority also maintains and administers Boldt Castle.

Tolls are paid only by cash, by E-ZPass, or with a Commuter Discount Fare Trip Tag, which is good for either 16 trips (US$20.00) or 72 trips (US$32.00). The Bridge Authority has joined the multi-state E-ZPass consortium and introduced electronic toll collection in June 2019.[5][6] No other ETC transponders are currently offered or accepted, although the Bridge Authority offers sales of transponders of Florida's SunPass, for the convenience of Canadian travelers en route to Florida.[7]

Border crossing[edit]

The Thousand Islands Border Crossing connects the towns of Alexandria Bay, New York and Ivy Lea, Ontario at the Thousand Islands Bridge.

The crossing is the westernmost of the three on the St. Lawrence River and is very busy, with up to two hours of waits during the summer.[8] The US border station of Alexandria Bay has sometimes been called "Thousand Islands", and the Canada border station of Lansdowne has sometimes been called "Gananoque", named for the nearby town where international ferry service has historically (and continues to be) provided. These border stations are also responsible for inspecting vessel traffic between the two countries. The US has seasonal vessel inspection stations on Heart Island and at Cape Vincent, NY, and Canada has seasonal vessel inspection stations at Rockport, Ontario and Gananoque, Ontario, and both Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will travel to selected ports and marinas to conduct inspections upon request.

History[edit]

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.

The bridge suffered aerodynamic-related structural problems (oscillations) shortly after its opening, these were quickly corrected via structural upgrades.[9]

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.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Thousand Islands International Bridge Facts". Tibridge.com. 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 :". Tibridge.com. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  4. ^ "Authority Info". Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  5. ^ http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/thousand-islands-bridge-to-have-e-zpass-next-year--20180627
  6. ^ "E-ZPass comes to Thousand Islands Bridge". WWNY 7News. WWNY-TV. 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  7. ^ "Florida's SunPass electronic toll device soon to be accepted in more states". miamiherald. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Chapter 4: The Watery Boundary". United Divide: A Linear Portrait of the USA/Canada Border. The Center for Land Use Interpretation. Winter 2015.
  9. ^ "In the Wake of Tacoma", pg. 59-60, ISBN 0-7844-0542-5.

External links[edit]