CORNWALL, Ontario – Last week was the five year anniversary of the last walk across the old Seaway International Bridge before demolition came into full effect.
On July 8, 2014, the public was invited The Seaway International Bridge Corporation, Ltd. (SIBC), in collaboration with the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) to walk across the historic suspension bridge.
The bridge was open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. that day.
Built in the 1960s as a part of the St. Lawrence Seaway project, the bridge was constructed as high as it was to allow cargo ships to pass underneath.
“Of course, the biggest thing that’s come through here is a sailboat,” said Councillor Claude McIntosh in an interview with CTV a year after the walk.
Construction on the bridge was completed in 1962, and that project brought many out of town construction workers to Cornwall, some of whom stayed.
“My grandfather, native to Mattawa (a small town near North Bay) came down to work on the construction of this bridge,” said Cornwall’s Little Historian Sara Lauzon. “He stayed at my grandmothers boarding house in Sydney St., and never returned to his hometown to live. Forever grateful that his bridge was constructed to my grandparents could meet.”
Demolition of the bridge itself began during the summer of 2015, with only the old bridge piers remaining by the following year.
The FBCL announced in March of this year that the in water bridge piers would be taken down by Christmas of 2019.
In 2018 a plaque was erected by the Heart of the City and the City of Cornwall to commemorate the old Seaway International Bridge. At the time, Micheline Dubé, CEO of the FBCL pledged to keep the bridge pier that sits on Cornwall’s side of the river intact.
“We’ve just completed this close to $700,000 remediation effort, to ensure that as you’re walking around, standing around, this 56-year-old pier will remain safe for the public to enjoy for years to come,” said Dubé at the time.