|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date / Builder or Contractor|
|International Railroad Bridge
Swing Bridge Span
|Railroad (Wisconsin Central) Over St. Marys River and Associated Canal System||Sault Ste. Marie: Chippewa County, Michigan and Algoma District, Ontario||Metal Pinned Baltimore Through Truss, Movable: Swing||1887 By: Dominion Bridge Company of Montreal, Qu?ec|
Exploring the International Railroad Bridge
The International Railroad Bridge is a magnificent landmark bridge whose significant size comes from a huge number of smaller spans, rather than a single large bridge. When all these sections are combined, the result is a bridge that is unrivaled in variety, size, beauty, and history. Indeed, within this bridge each of the three most common movable bridge types is represented. These separate and different structures that carry the railroad over the St. Mary's River and its canal systems are collectively referred to as the International Railroad Bridge. The bridge was designed for and continues to carry a single set of tracks. Due to the fact that the different sections of this bridge are so different in terms of history and design, they have separated them into a few separate pages on this website. You can use the below options to aid in your exploration of the other sections of this bridge
The thumbnails below are lined up in the order that the appear on the bridge from the West (USA) side of the bridge to the East (Canada) side of the bridge. Click on the name or thumbnail for the structure you want to investigate, and you will be directed to the page that includes coverage of that structure. Names appearing in red text show the structures that are covered on the page you are currently viewing.
This swing bridge is a large span. The western half of the bridge does not cross any water, and simply provides balance to the weight of the structure. This method of balancing the bridge is in contrast to the use of bobtail swing bridges like the North Avenue Railroad Bridge in Chicago. This swing span of the International Railroad Bridge was built in 1895.
The swing bridge is of considerable length. The truss configuration of this bridge uses the Baltimore design. There is extensive v-lacing and lattice on this bridge, including some members that have v-lacing or lattice on all four sides. The bridge is a pin connected structure, however an inspection of the connections leads to the discovery of an alteration. The railroad company appears to have at some time appeared to tried to make some of the connections rigid, by bolting on new steel to some of the connections. As a result some of the connections today function as rigid bolted connections.
East of the swing bridge, there are a number of deck plate girder spans which serve as the final spans of the International Railroad Bridge as it heads into Ontario. On their own, these spans are not technologically distinguished, but they do constitute a part of the entire bridge unit. One of these spans is slightly larger than the others, and for no apparent reason. The east end of this larger span has a larger pier supporting it as well. The piers are stone with concrete patching.