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Victoria Bridge (Montreal)

The Victoria Bridge (French: Pont Victoria), previously known as Victoria Jubilee Bridge, is a bridge over the St. Lawrence River, linking Montreal, Quebec, to the south shore city of Saint-Lambert.

Victoria Bridge

Contents

Victoria Bridge, 1901. Viewed from downstream.

The Victoria Bridge was erected between 1854 and 1859. Prior to the construction of the bridge, it was difficult and at times impossible to cross the St. Lawrence River during the long winter season, as freezing and thawing in the fall and spring made for treacherous conditions. Crossings took place by boat during the summer, and by walking or riding a sleigh or cart over the frozen river in winter, along routes cleared of snow to facilitate passage.

A site for the bridge was selected by the Canadian engineer Thomas Keefer. The structure was designed by Robert Stephenson (son of George Stephenson and the builder of the famed Rocket locomotive), and Alexander McKenzie Ross.

James Hodges

The chief engineer was James Hodges. The contractors were the English partnership of Peto, Brassey and Betts, who completed the bridge shortly after Stephenson's death in 1859.

The original deck was a long structural metal tube (a tubular bridge) made of prefabricated wrought iron sections made in England and shipped transatlantic. During its peak construction years a total of six steamboats, 72 barges, 3,040 men (of which there were several children between the ages of 8 and 12), 144 horses, and four locomotive engines were required to build it at a cost of $6,600,000. The construction of the bridge was tied directly with that of the Grand Trunk Railway, a system headquartered in Britain which had been formed in 1852 with the support of the colonial government of the United Province of Canada to connect the Great Lakes with an ice-free port on the Atlantic Ocean (at Portland, Maine). When completed, it was the longest bridge in the world.

The Victoria Bridge was officially inaugurated by Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales on August 25, 1860. The first freight train however had already passed over the bridge on December 12, 1859, and the first passenger train had crossed the bridge five days later on December 17. Queen Victoria had been invited to attend the opening of the bridge, but she declined the invitation and instead sent her eldest son, the Prince of Wales.

In 1897–1898, the metal tube from 1860 was replaced by metal trusses, common at the time. To minimize traffic disruptions, the trusses were assembled around the tube, which permitted the tube to continue service to train traffic. The tube was then demolished. The stone piers from 1860, slightly altered in 1897, still testify to the excellent original engineering.

Between October 30, 1909 and October 13, 1956, the Montreal and Southern Counties Railway ran interurban streetcars on the Northern shoulder of the bridge. The line connected Granby and Montreal, with a later branch serving Longueuil.

The St. Lambert Diversion around the St. Lambert Locks was added in 1958 as part of the St. Lawrence Seaway project. This secondary bridge over the canal, south of the main bridge, also carries both road and rail, and is used when a ship is passing under the original alignment.

  • Victoria Bridge under construction

  • The newly-constructed bridge in 1859

  • The laying of the last stone on the bridge by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, 1860

  • Victoria Bridge as it appeared in 1898

  • In 1948

Victoria bridge seen from Île-des-Sœurs, with Jacques-Cartier bridge in the background.
The Black Rock

When the bridge was being built, workmen discovered the human remains of Irish immigrants to Canada, who had fled the famine in Ireland, only to die during the typhus epidemic of 1847 in fever sheds at nearby Windmill Point. At the bridge approach, a large rock was erected, officially called the Irish Commemorative Stone but locally known as The Black Rock.

Its inscription reads:

To preserve from desecration the remains of 6000 immigrants who died of ship fever A.D.1847-8 this stone is erected by the workmen of Messrs. Peto, Brassey and Betts employed in the construction of the Victoria Bridge A.D.1859.

Deck of the bridge viewed from a train
Victoria Bridge as viewed from Parc Jean-Drapeau

During the morning rush hour, from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, both lanes of the Victoria Bridge are used to travel north, from the residential suburb of Saint-Lambert to the business districts of Montreal. In the evening, from 3:00 pm to 7:15 pm, both lanes are used in the opposite direction. At all other times, there is one lane available in each direction.

The only bus route allowed on the bridge is a special bus from the Réseau de transport de Longueuil, bus number 55. The line is served by Classic Buses due to weight restrictions on the bridge (57 customers if it is a classic one and 38 if it is a low-floor type bus). All other heavy vehicles are forbidden from accessing the bridge and must detour either via the neighbouring Champlain or Jacques-Cartier bridges. The low clearance on both approaches and the narrow lanes on the bridge itself make the bridge virtually inaccessible even to light trucks.

  1. Directions are according to traditional Montreal map where downtown (example, rue Sherbrooke) is east-west, with Mont-Royal to the north and the river to the south. "North" on the Victoria bridge is actually south-west.
  1. "Victoria, Pont". Commission de toponymie du Québec. RetrievedJuly 5, 2011.
  2. Gallagher, The Reverend John A. (1936). "The Irish Emigration of 1847 and Its Canadian Consequences". CCHA Report. RetrievedMarch 23, 2008 – via University of Manitoba.
  3. Lindeman, Tracey (March 20, 2008). "Griffintown: a chronology". Montreal Mirror. RetrievedMarch 23, 2008.
  4. "(home)". Québec 511.
Wikimedia Commons has media related toVictoria Bridge, Montreal.

Victoria Bridge (Montreal)
Victoria Bridge Montreal Language Watch Edit The Victoria Bridge French Pont Victoria previously known as Victoria Jubilee Bridge is a bridge over the St Lawrence River linking Montreal Quebec to the south shore city of Saint Lambert Victoria Bridge Pont VictoriaVictoria Bridge as viewed from upstream from Montreal TechnoparcCoordinates45 29 30 N 73 31 45 W 45 49165 N 73 52912 W 45 49165 73 52912 Coordinates 45 29 30 N 73 31 45 W 45 49165 N 73 52912 W 45 49165 73 52912CarriesRoute 112 Canadian National Railway RTM Mont Saint Hilaire line Via Rail and AmtrakCrossesSt Lawrence River and Saint Lawrence SeawayLocaleSaint Lambert Quebec and Montreal Quebec Neighbourhood of Victoriatown CharacteristicsDesignTubular bridge original Truss bridge replacement includes two lift bridges to accommodate the seawayPiers in water24No of lanes2 one each on either side of the rail bridgeRail characteristicsNo of tracks2Track gauge1 435 mm 4 ft 8 1 2 in standard gaugeStructure gaugeAARElectrifiedNoHistoryOpenedAugust 25 1860 1860 08 25 Location Opened in 1859 originally as a tubular bridge designed by Robert Stephenson the bridge was the first to span the St Lawrence River and as such is an important historic bridge in Canada It remains in use to this day carrying both road and rail traffic with rails in the middle and roadways part of Route 112 on both sides It is actively used by the Canadian National Railway on its Halifax to Montreal main line It is a major contributor to Montreal s role as a continental hub in the North American rail system Its designation for the Canadian National Railway CNR commonly known as CN is Mile 71 40 Subdivision St Hyacinthe Originally named the Great Victoria Bridge in honour of Queen Victoria it was officially rededicated as the Victoria Jubilee Bridge following renovations in 1897 It was returned to the name Victoria Bridge Pont Victoria in 1978 1 The bridge is approximately 3 kilometres 1 9 mi long and includes 24 ice breaking piers Contents 1 History 2 The Black Rock 3 Use 4 Notes 5 References 6 External linksHistory Edit Victoria Bridge 1901 Viewed from downstream The Victoria Bridge was erected between 1854 and 1859 Prior to the construction of the bridge it was difficult and at times impossible to cross the St Lawrence River during the long winter season as freezing and thawing in the fall and spring made for treacherous conditions Crossings took place by boat during the summer and by walking or riding a sleigh or cart over the frozen river in winter along routes cleared of snow to facilitate passage A site for the bridge was selected by the Canadian engineer Thomas Keefer The structure was designed by Robert Stephenson son of George Stephenson and the builder of the famed Rocket locomotive and Alexander McKenzie Ross James Hodges The chief engineer was James Hodges The contractors were the English partnership of Peto Brassey and Betts who completed the bridge shortly after Stephenson s death in 1859 The original deck was a long structural metal tube a tubular bridge made of prefabricated wrought iron sections made in England and shipped transatlantic During its peak construction years a total of six steamboats 72 barges 3 040 men of which there were several children between the ages of 8 and 12 144 horses and four locomotive engines were required to build it at a cost of 6 600 000 The construction of the bridge was tied directly with that of the Grand Trunk Railway a system headquartered in Britain which had been formed in 1852 with the support of the colonial government of the United Province of Canada to connect the Great Lakes with an ice free port on the Atlantic Ocean at Portland Maine When completed it was the longest bridge in the world The Victoria Bridge was officially inaugurated by Albert Edward the Prince of Wales on August 25 1860 The first freight train however had already passed over the bridge on December 12 1859 and the first passenger train had crossed the bridge five days later on December 17 Queen Victoria had been invited to attend the opening of the bridge but she declined the invitation and instead sent her eldest son the Prince of Wales In 1897 1898 the metal tube from 1860 was replaced by metal trusses common at the time To minimize traffic disruptions the trusses were assembled around the tube which permitted the tube to continue service to train traffic The tube was then demolished The stone piers from 1860 slightly altered in 1897 still testify to the excellent original engineering Between October 30 1909 and October 13 1956 the Montreal and Southern Counties Railway ran interurban streetcars on the Northern shoulder of the bridge The line connected Granby and Montreal with a later branch serving Longueuil The St Lambert Diversion around the St Lambert Locks was added in 1958 as part of the St Lawrence Seaway project This secondary bridge over the canal south of the main bridge also carries both road and rail and is used when a ship is passing under the original alignment Victoria Bridge under construction The newly constructed bridge in 1859 The laying of the last stone on the bridge by Albert Edward Prince of Wales 1860 Victoria Bridge as it appeared in 1898 In 1948 Victoria bridge seen from Ile des Sœurs with Jacques Cartier bridge in the background The Black Rock EditMain article Irish Commemorative Stone The Black Rock When the bridge was being built workmen discovered the human remains of Irish immigrants to Canada who had fled the famine in Ireland only to die during the typhus epidemic of 1847 in fever sheds at nearby Windmill Point 2 3 At the bridge approach a large rock was erected officially called the Irish Commemorative Stone but locally known as The Black Rock Its inscription reads To preserve from desecration the remains of 6000 immigrants who died of ship fever A D 1847 8 this stone is erected by the workmen of Messrs Peto Brassey and Betts employed in the construction of the Victoria Bridge A D 1859 Use Edit Deck of the bridge viewed from a train Victoria Bridge as viewed from Parc Jean Drapeau During the morning rush hour from 5 00 am to 9 00 am 4 both lanes of the Victoria Bridge are used to travel north note 1 from the residential suburb of Saint Lambert to the business districts of Montreal In the evening from 3 00 pm to 7 15 pm both lanes are used in the opposite direction At all other times there is one lane available in each direction The only bus route allowed on the bridge is a special bus from the Reseau de transport de Longueuil bus number 55 The line is served by Classic Buses due to weight restrictions on the bridge 57 customers if it is a classic one and 38 if it is a low floor type bus All other heavy vehicles are forbidden from accessing the bridge and must detour either via the neighbouring Champlain or Jacques Cartier bridges The low clearance on both approaches and the narrow lanes on the bridge itself make the bridge virtually inaccessible even to light trucks Notes Edit Directions are according to traditional Montreal map where downtown example rue Sherbrooke is east west with Mont Royal to the north and the river to the south North on the Victoria bridge is actually south west References Edit Victoria Pont Commission de toponymie du Quebec Retrieved July 5 2011 Gallagher The Reverend John A 1936 The Irish Emigration of 1847 and Its Canadian Consequences CCHA Report Retrieved March 23 2008 via University of Manitoba Lindeman Tracey March 20 2008 Griffintown a chronology Montreal Mirror Retrieved March 23 2008 home Quebec 511 Significant dates in Canadian railway history Colin Churcher s Railway Pages August 16 2005 Archived from the original on April 24 2006 Retrieved August 25 2005 Rapley John 2003 The Britannia amp Other Tubular Bridges Tempus Publishing Ltd Walker Charles 1969 Thomas Brassey Railway Builder London Frederick Muller pp 90 92 ISBN 0 584 10305 0 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Victoria Bridge Montreal The Victoria Bridge Virtual Exhibit requires Flash plugin Victoria Bridge 1859 at Structurae Victoria Bridge 1898 at Structurae Victoria Bridge The 8th Wonder a National Film Board of Canada short Robert W Passfield Construction of the Victoria Tubular Bridge Canal History and Technology Proceedings 2001 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Victoria Bridge Montreal amp oldid 998627420, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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