The Confederation Bridge crosses the Northumberland Strait and connects the province of New Brunsiwck to the province of Prince Edward Island. The bridge is Canada’s longest fixed-link crossing and the longest bridge in the world to cross ice-covered water.

Quick Facts

  • When was the bridge opened? 1997.
  • How long is the bridge? 12.9-km.
  • How tall is it? 40-m above the Strait and 60-m at the central span.
  • How long did it take to build? 4 years.
  • Who maintains it? Strait Crossing Bridge Limited.
  • Why is it curved? To prevent a “hypnotic effect” while driving across it.
  • How much does it cost to go across? http://confederationbridge.com/tolls-fees/tolls-fees.html
  • Where can I get the best view? Cape Jourimain observation tower.

Confederation Bridge across the Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island, as seen from the observation tower at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre

History

Discussions regarding building a bridge to connect Prince Edward Island (PEI) to the mainland had been ongoing since the late 1800s. Early proposals looked at developing a railway tunnel under the Strait, but this idea was later abandoned due to concerns over engineering and costs.

In 1966, the Government of Canada moved forward with a development plan for a bridge, getting so far as to construct a causeway connecting Tenholm and Jourimain Island; however, this endeavour was ultimately abandoned. It wasn’t until 1987, after receiving a number of development proposals, that the Government of Canada began conducting a new feasibility study for a fixed-link crossing.

In 1988, a plebiscite was conducted on PEI, which resulted in a majority vote in favour of constructing a bridge. Cape Jourimain in NB and Borden-Carleton in PEI were selected as the two end points due to being the shortest distance between the two provinces.

In 1993, Strait Crossing Bridge Limited  began a complex, four-year construction process. The 12.9 km, multi-span cantilever bridge was completed in 1996 and officially opened to the public on May 31st, 1997.

Find out more about the Confederation Bridge at: http://www.confederationbridge.com/

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