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This is a single suspension bridge from my historical inventory of suspension bridges. Follow the Inventory link for more information about the inventory.
1851 Lewiston-Queenston
Lewiston, New York, USA and Queenston, Ontario, Canada (Niagara River)
Bridgemeister ID:35
Structurae ID:0007333
References:AAJ, BOB, BPL, HBE, PTS2
Principals:Edward Serrell
Use:Vehicular
Status:Wrecked, 1864
Main cables:Wire (iron)
Suspended spans:1
Main span:1,043f
Deck width:21f (AAJ: 19.5f)
Notes
  • Wrecked by wind February 1, 1864. Stay cables beneath the bridge had been disconnected to avoid damage from rising ice. Portions of the cables and deck remained, in a derelict state, as late as 1895. Replacement was not started until the late 1890's.
  • The February 3, 1864 edition of Niagara Falls Gazette describes the wind event: "Partial Destruction Of The Lewiston Suspension Bridge -- A portion of the flooring and other wood-work of the Lewiston Suspension Bridge was blown down during the gale Monday forenoon. It seems that the long guys had been cut during the late ice jam to prevent injury to the structure and thus its strength to withstand a gale was much weakened. The wind swept through the gorge on Monday with terrific force and swayed the bridge so that some of the cross timbers, near the centre were loosened from their fastenings, and fell, of course carrying the floor with them. A large portion at each end, remains without material injury. The extent of the damage -- financially -- we have not yet learned, but we judge from what we hear that it may be about $10,000. The bridge was built in 1852 and cost not far from $40,000. It will doubtless soon be repaired and in use."
  • Became longest suspension bridge by eclipsing 1849 Wheeling (Wheeling and Belmont) - Wheeling, West Virginia, USA. However, Don Sayenga notes the length of the suspended span of this bridge was only 849 feet, not 1,043 as often cited. Don writes: "[1,043 feet] was the distance between the towers built high up on the cliffs above the crossing - because there was no space for them below. The roadway suspended from the towers was only 849 feet span over the water from abutment to abutment." Thus, Roebling's Cincinnati bridge should be considered the first to eclipse Wheeling's record main span.
  • Eclipsed by new longest suspension bridge 1867 John A. Roebling (Cincinnati, Cincinnati and Covington) - Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky, USA.
  • Later at same location 1899 Lewiston-Queenston - Lewiston, New York, USA and Queenston, Ontario, Canada.
Stereoview, collection of David Denenberg

Do you have any information or photos about this bridge that you would like to share? Please email aspan@bridgemeister.com.

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