In the far eastern part of Canada, there exists a wonder that is almost one of the Seven Wonders Of The World and it’s called the Confederation Bridge, spanning 8 miles in total. This awesome bridge is one of the world’s longest over ice covered waters and took 4 years and over $1 Billion to complete in May of 1997. While very controversial before construction, it hasn’t changed the way of life on the islands as much as many had feared and it has increased traffic, tourism and commerce for the Canadian island of Prince Edward.
Before The Confederation Bridge There Were Only Ferries
Prior to the building of the bridge, there were only ferries crossing the distance to the island. While this was sufficient during the summer months for tourism and casual traffic, there were many farmers, business owners, and residents alike that complained about the many days when the ferries couldn’t run because of inclimate weather. Plus, there were the high prices of getting products loaded onto boats and then unloaded back onto trucks that made them uncompetitive in the end.
The bridge uses the box girder type of concrete and steel construction for strength due to its incredible length. Each one of its multi-span sections is technically its own small bridge which makes it stronger and less prone to failure in its entirety. The curves that were included that make it so beautiful are partially there to keep motorists attentive during the crossing for safety. Engineers expect the bridge to last at least 100 years.
Typical Prices For Crossing Are For The Round Trip
Prices are for axle count so most cars are considered to be two axles and the price is $46, then there is an additional axle fee of $7.50 each. Motorcycles can cross for a mere $18.50 and there are plenty of groups that make the trip by motorcycle because of the advantages of viewing the bridge in an unobstructed manner.
Another great trip that has become a yearly adventure for many groups is crossing by bicycle which only costs $8.75 for the round-trip. The winds can be fairly strong during some parts of the day so caution is advised, but still there are many groups that make the trip in the calm mornings. There are also shuttles that can be taken by pedestrians for $4.25 and these are quite popular with tourists just wanting to cross over the bridge for the day and return.
There are no discounted yearly passes at this time but the subject does get discussed frequently and may become a reality in the future. All major credit cards are accepted and you pay as you leave Prince Edward Island at the bridge plaza in Borden-Carlton, PE.
Those that make the crossing on a daily or frequent basis usually sign up for email or text messages that give constant advisories as to the conditions on the bridge. These are most valuable during the winter months when freezing temperatures, snow, wind and rain can be a hazard. There are instructions to sign up on the website run by the government or at the bridge plaza where you pay for passage.
If you haven’t seen the Confederation Bridge in person it’s a sight to remember but you can get a basic idea from photos on the internet. You might also read some of the reviews written on travel websites because people tend to be quite ecstatic when describing their feelings while crossing. Be sure and bring a camera as the views are spectacular.