The bridges discussed on this page are the black bridges behind the large highway arch bridge in the above photo.
|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date / Builder or Contractor|
|International Railroad Bridge
Vertical Lift and Bascule Bridge Spans
|Railroad (Wisconsin Central) Over St. Marys River and Associated Canal System||Sault Ste. Marie: Chippewa County, Michigan and Algoma District, Ontario||Metal Riveted Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Movable: Vertical Lift||0 By: Unknown|
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 section of the bridge is the most difficult to get photos of. The vertical lift, although large, is not original to the bridge and is of limited historic significance. It replaced a swing bridge, which most likely was similar to the extant one on the Ontario side. The vertical lacks any v-lacing and lattice, although its construction is riveted. The truss configuration of the vertical lift is a subdivided Warren. West of the vertical lift is a small deck plate girder overpass that offers very low clearance for vehicular traffic to pass under. This overpass marks the beginning of the International Rail Bridge on the Michigan side. East of the vertical lift is a magnificent and highly unusual double-leaf bascule bridge. It appears to function as a single continuous span structure when closed. Note that when this bridge is closed it looks like a single span Pennsylvania through truss. This is unlike bascule bridges in Chicago such as the La Salle Street Bridge. With those bridges in Chicago, the trusses are tallest at the abutments, suggesting each span holds weight independently of the other, in a cantilever type of fashion. With the International Railroad Bascule Bridge, the tallest trusses are at the ends of each leaf. It is unfortunate that this bascule bridge, which appears to be original with v-lacing and lattice, remains isolated from the mainland and is not available for an up-close inspection.