The Quebec Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Canada. Due to its tragic fate, the Canadian and American Society of Civil Engineers declared Quebec Bridge a Historic Monument in 1987. It was awarded the title of National Historic Site of Canada in 1996.
The Quebec Bridge was once the longest cantilever bridge in the world. However, what made the Quebec Bridge famous in the world was not its size but its construction history. The project failed twice during construction in 1907 and 1916, killing more than 100 people and injuring many more. It took more than 30 years to build and finally opened in 1919.
Before the bridge, the St. Lawrence River was Quebec's main traffic route in summer, but in winter, the river was completely frozen before it could reopen; therefore, as early as the 1850s, residents showed a high desire to build the bridge.
Description of the Quebec Bridge Size
The Quebec Bridge is a road, rail, and pedestrian bridge spanning the lower St. Lawrence River between Sainte-Foy and Lévis in Quebec, Canada. The current Quebec bridge is new, but it is so historical that it looks like some work is still going on. Take Highway 20 from Montreal to Quebec City; you can see the rusted Quebec Bridge when you close the city, which spans the turbulent St. Lawrence River and stands next to the new bridge Pierre Laporte. Many people know the story of the construction of the Quebec Bridge, and more people wonder if it will collapse for the third time like the legendary curse of the Indians. The bridge shares three highway lanes, two rail tracks, and a pedestrian walkway.
Dimensions of the Current Quebec Bridge
The current Quebec Bridge is a riveted steel truss structure, measuring 987 meters (3,238 feet) long, 29 meters (95 feet) wide, and 104 meters (341 feet) high. Its 177 meters (581 feet) cantilever supports the 195 meters (640 feet) long middle section to form the main span of 549 meters (1,801 feet); the bridge still holds the world's first cantilever bridge span record.
|Total Length||987 m (3,238 ft)|
|Width||29 m (95 ft)|
|Height||104 m (341 ft)|
|Longest Span||549 m (1,801 ft)|
|Clearance Below||46 m (151 ft)|
History of the Quebec Bridge
In 1904, the Quebec government decided to build a bridge and hired Teodoro Cooper, one of the most famous American bridge designers. The bridge's original design was 760 meters long and 82 meters high. Still, for the "reputation" and "creativity" of his achievements, he deliberately extended the length and height of the bridge but did not make corresponding adjustments for these changes in size. Cooper also accelerated the construction progress and finally completed it in only three years. However, on February 12, 1908, the bridge collapsed suddenly; nearly 20,000 tons of steel bars crushed the bridge, 86 people, and the crisscrossing steel crashed into the St. Lawrence River.
The Second Collapse
After the first accident, the government restarted the construction of the bridge in 1913; but unfortunately, the tragedy happened again. In September 1916, the middle section of the bridge fell again into the St. Lawrence River when one of the anchoring support members broke while the cantilever was being installed, killing 13 workers. In 1917, after two tragic tragedies, the Quebec Bridge was finally completed and opened to traffic.
In 1922, shortly after the completion of the Quebec Bridge, Canada's seven engineering colleges (later "The Corporation of the Seven Wardens") paid for all the wreckage that collapsed during the construction of the bridge and decided to make these steel into a Rings, given to students graduating from the engineering department each year. However, the steel could not be made into rings due to the limitations of technology. So these colleges had to use other steel instead. The rings are designed in the shape of twisted steel bars to commemorate both tragedies. It became known as the Iron Ring in the engineering world.