Thousand Islands Bridge

Last updated
Thousand Islands International Bridge
Thousand Islands Bridge July 2015 001.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 1000 Islands Tower.
Coordinates 44°20′50.71″N75°59′0.6″W / 44.3474194°N 75.983500°W / 44.3474194; -75.983500 (Thousand Islands Bridge)
Carries2 lanes of I-81.svg I-81 and Ontario 137 crown.svg Highway 137
Crosses Saint Lawrence River
Locale Wellesley Island, New York, United States to Hill Island, Ontario, Canada
Official nameThe Thousand Islands Bridge system
Maintained by Thousand Islands Bridge Authority
Characteristics
Design suspension, 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 below U.S.: 150 ft (46 m)
Canada: 120 ft (37 m)
History
Construction startApril 30, 1937;86 years ago (April 30, 1937)
OpenedAugust 18. 1938;85 years ago (August 18. 1938)
Statistics
TollVaries $3.75–$23.50 (USD) or $4.75–$31.00 (CAD) [2]
Location
Thousand Islands Bridge

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.

Contents

Structure

The Thousand Islands International Bridge system is a series of five bridges [3] spanning the St. Lawrence River. From south to north, they are:

  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 bridges's southern end connects with Interstate 81, and the northern end with 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) bridges between Wellesley Island in the United States and Hill Island in Canada.

Administration

The bridge system is administered by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, a New York State public benefit corporation, whose seven board members (Four Americans and three Canadians) are appointed by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. [4] The Authority also maintains and administers Boldt Castle.

Tolls are paid only by cash, E-ZPass, or Commuter Discount Fare Trip Tags, which are prepaid for either 16 trips (US$20.00) or 72 trips (US$32.00). The Bridge Authority is a member of 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

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

It is the westernmost of the three St. Lawrence River crossings, and is very busy, with up to two-hour waits in the summer. [8] The US border station at Alexandria Bay is sometimes called Thousand Islands. The Canada border station of Lansdowne is sometimes called Gananoque, for the nearby town where international ferry service is provided. These border stations are also responsible for inspecting vessel traffic between the 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. Both Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) travel to selected ports and marinas on request for inspections.

History

The entire Thousand Islands Bridge system took sixteen months to build, beginning with a ground-breaking on April 30, 1937. [9] Completed ten weeks ahead of schedule, the bridges opened on August 18, 1938, with the ribbon cut by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. [10] Its total cost was $3.05 million (equivalent to $49.03 million in 2022 dollars).

Shortly after opening, the bridge displayed aerodynamic oscillation problems that were quickly corrected via structural upgrades. [11]

In its first year of operation, over 118,000 vehicles crossed the bridge. [12] Today, annual crossings exceed 2,000,000 vehicles. [13]


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thousand Islands</span> Archipelago in the Saint Lawrence River

The Thousand Islands constitute a North American archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada–US border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 50 miles (80 km) downstream from Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario and the U.S. islands in the state of New York.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gananoque</span> Town in Ontario, Canada

Gananoque is a town in the Leeds and Grenville area of Ontario, Canada. The town had a population of 5,383 year-round residents in the 2021 Canadian Census, as well as summer residents sometimes referred to as "Islanders" because of the Thousand Islands in the Saint Lawrence River, Gananoque's most important tourist attraction. The Gananoque River flows through the town and the St. Lawrence River serves as the southern boundary of the town.

E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection system used on toll roads, toll bridges, and toll tunnels in the Eastern United States, Midwestern United States, and Southern United States. The E-ZPass Interagency Group (IAG) consists of member agencies in several states, which use the same technology and allow travelers to use the same transponder on toll roads throughout the network.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outerbridge Crossing</span> Bridge between New Jersey and New York

The Outerbridge Crossing, also known as the Outerbridge, is a cantilever bridge that spans the Arthur Kill between Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York. It carries New York State Route 440 and New Jersey Route 440, with the two roads connecting at the state border near the bridge's center. The Outerbridge Crossing is one of three vehicular bridges connecting New Jersey with Staten Island, and like the others, is maintained and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The others are the Bayonne Bridge, which connects Staten Island with Bayonne, and the Goethals Bridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Hudson Bridge</span> Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx, New York

The Henry Hudson Bridge is a steel arch toll bridge in New York City across the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. It connects Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx with Inwood in Manhattan to the south, via the Henry Hudson Parkway. On the Manhattan side, the parkway goes into Inwood Hill Park. Commercial vehicles are not permitted on this bridge or on the parkway in general.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge</span> Bridge connecting Canada and the United States

The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge spans the St. Marys River between the United States and Canada connecting the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The bridge is operated by the International Bridge Administration under the direction of the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority, a bi-national governing body consisting of four directors appointed by the Governor of Michigan and four appointed by the Canadian government-owned Federal Bridge Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lewiston–Queenston Bridge</span> Bridge in Ontario and Lewiston, New York

The Lewiston–Queenston Bridge, also known as the Queenston–Lewiston Bridge, is an arch bridge that crosses the Niagara River gorge just south of the Niagara Escarpment. The bridge was officially opened on November 1, 1962. It is an international bridge between the United States and Canada. It connects Interstate 190 in the town of Lewiston, New York to Highway 405 in the community of Queenston, Ontario. The Lewiston–Queenston Bridge is a twin of the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls and designed by Richard Lee.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peace Bridge</span> Truss arch bridge connecting US to Canada

The Peace Bridge is an international bridge between Canada and the United States at the east end of Lake Erie at the source of the Niagara River, about 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) upriver of Niagara Falls. It connects Buffalo, New York, in the United States to Fort Erie, Ontario, in Canada. It is operated and maintained by the binational Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boldt Castle</span> Landmark in Thousand Islands, New York State

Boldt Castle is a major landmark and tourist attraction in the Thousand Islands region of the U.S. state of New York. Open to guests seasonally between mid-May and mid-October, it is located on Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River. Heart Island is part of the Town of Alexandria, in Jefferson County. Originally a private mansion built for American millionaire George Boldt, it is now maintained by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority as a tourist attraction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wellesley Island</span>

Smart Tag is the former name of a transponder-based electronic toll collection system implemented by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). It was launched as Fastoll on April 15, 1996. Fastoll was rebranded as Smart Tag in 1998, and was placed under the umbrella of Smart Travel. In November 2007, the Smart Tag brand name was retired in favor of E-ZPass Virginia, several years after the Smart Tag system became a part of the E-ZPass network.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Three Nations Crossing</span> Canada—US border crossing

The Three Nations Crossing is a border crossing on the Canada–US border, connecting the city of Cornwall, Ontario in Canada to Massena, New York, in the United States. The crossing is associated with the Seaway International Bridge, which crosses the two channels on each side of Cornwall Island, which is located on the St. Lawrence River. The bridge is 4.7 km (2.9 mi) in length.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge</span> Bridge in Between Jamestown and Newport, Rhode Island

The Claiborne Pell Bridge, commonly known as the Newport Bridge, is a suspension bridge operated by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority that spans the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. The bridge, part of RI 138, connects the city of Newport on Aquidneck Island and the Town of Jamestown on Conanicut Island, and is named for longtime Rhode Island U.S. senator Claiborne Pell who lived in Newport. The Pell Bridge is in turn connected to the mainland by the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open road tolling</span> Boothless toll collecting

Open road tolling (ORT), also called all-electronic tolling, cashless tolling, or free-flow tolling, is the collection of tolls on toll roads without the use of toll booths. An electronic toll collection system is usually used instead. The major advantage to ORT is that users are able to drive through the toll plaza at highway speeds without having to slow down to pay the toll. In some installations, ORT may also reduce congestion at the plazas by allowing more vehicles per hour/per lane.

King's Highway 137, commonly referred to as Highway 137, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario that connects the northern end of Interstate 81 in the U.S. state of New York with Highway 401 via the Canadian span of the Thousand Islands Bridge. While this road connected to the international bridge when it opened in August 1938, it was not designated as a King's Highway until 1965. Highway 137 passes through a portion of the Canadian Shield, a geographic feature which aided construction of the three Canadian spans of the Thousand Islands Bridge. These bridges, all of different designs, travel 538 m (1,765 ft) across the Saint Lawrence River. Highway 137 is 4.3 km (2.7 mi) in length and is located entirely within the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TxTag</span> Electronic toll collection system in Texas, United States

TxTag, operated by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), is one of three interoperable electronic toll collection systems in Texas. The system is also interoperable with the K-TAG system used in Kansas and the Pikepass system used in Oklahoma.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge</span> International bridge between New York and Ontario

The Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting Ogdensburg, New York in the United States to Johnstown, Ontario in Canada. Designed by Modjeski & Masters and completed in 1960, it has six spans and a main span of 350.75 metres (1,150.8 ft) totaling 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi) across the Saint Lawrence River and Saint Lawrence Seaway. The bridge is owned and operated by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, which also owns and operates Ogdensburg International Airport, the Port of Ogdensburg-Marine Terminal Facility, Commerce Park, the Port of Waddington, a medium-heavy industrial park and two short line railroads. The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is a New York State public-benefit corporation.

The Thousand Islands Parkway (often written as 1000 Islands Parkway) is a scenic parkway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It extends easterly from an interchange with Highway 401 in Gananoque for approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to rejoin Highway 401 near the community of Butternut Bay, west of Brockville. The parkway follows the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and was formerly designated Highway 2S (S for Scenic) until 1970. It passes through the communities of Gray's Beach, Halsteads Bay, Ivy Lea, Darlingside, Rockport, Narrows, La Rue Mills and Mallorytown Landing, as well as providing access to the three inland properties of the Thousand Islands National Park. Highway 137, which meets the parkway near its midpoint, provides access to the Interstate 81 in New York via the Thousand Islands Bridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thousand Islands Border Crossing</span>

The Thousand Islands Border Crossing connects the towns of Alexandria Bay, New York, and Ivy Lea, Ontario, on the Canada–US border. The crossing is via the international span of the Thousand Islands Bridge. The Thousand Islands bridge, which was completed in 1938, is actually a system of five bridges and the island roadways connecting them. The international span, which crosses a small rift between Wellesley Island in the US and Hill Island in Canada, is only 90 feet (27 m) in length. A second, parallel span was built in 1959 to accommodate congestion at the ports of entry. The US and Canada border stations are located at the opposite ends of this span.

References

  1. 1 2 "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. "Bridge to accept EZPass".
  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. "Ground Is Broken On Site Of Bridge Over St. Lawrence". The Post-Star. 1937-05-01. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-12-08.
  10. "Two Nations Hail Peace Bond In New Bridge Rite". Democrat and Chronicle. 1938-08-19. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-12-09.
  11. In the Wake of Tacoma. pp. 59–60. ISBN   0-7844-0542-5.
  12. "Bridges as Symbols". Star-Gazette. 1939-07-10. p. 6. Retrieved 2023-12-09.
  13. "Upgrading 1000 Islands Bridge". Andre Construction. 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2023-12-09.