Bridge pier and plaque preserve past

Shawna O'Neill
Bridge pier and plaque preserve past
Ryan Wilson with son Connor at Kids Korner on Sunday

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Heart of the City and the Federal Bridge Corporation Ltd. (FBCL) unveiled a new Historical Walking Tour plaque and the FBCL Pier 3 Lookout on July 4. The landmark is located along the bike path at Pier 3, one of the remaining concrete supports from the old Seaway International Bridge. 

“We’ve created a legacy landmark today that commemorates the bridge, that was one of the most recognizable icons for the city of Cornwall for over half a century,” said Micheline Dubé, CEO of the FBCL.

Due to the effects of age, an eight-month effort by Louis W. Bray Construction Ltd. scaled, chipped and refurbished the old pier. Once construction was completed, a viewing deck was built underneath for viewing of the St. Lawrence River and the new bridge.

FBCL will soon undertake and fund the underwater pier demolition project. The project will be tendered this year for 2019 implementation.

“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.

“This pier is going to remain as a reminder of the local crews and local companies that originally built the 1.6 km bridge between 1959 and 1962,” said Dubé.

The area around the landmark includes plaques with photos and news articles from when the bridge was originally constructed. The area is also under video surveillance to ensure security.

The decorative plaque, painted by Pierre Giroux of Cornwall, will be featured on the Historical Walking Tours hosted by Heart of the City. Tours currently stretch from Le Village District to Ontario Power Generation (OPG), where plaques will be installed at a later time.  

 “We were at a conference not very long ago talking about local history and tourism,” said Todd Lihou, Centretown Coordinator with Heart of the City. “What they told us about Eastern Ontario is that the largest untapped market in this part of the province is history. People are having a hard time monetizing history, getting people engaged and we really think that the walking tour is solving these problems.”

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