On November 22, 1996 the last piece of a massive t

wisting structure was lowered into the ice-cold waters of the straight between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The lowering of this piece the
12.9 kilometer Confederation bridge physically links the mainland of Canada with Prince Edward Island.
There are concerns though, will it hurt the islands famous lobster industries? Will life on the little island
change forever?
Since P.E.I. joined confederation in 1867 transporting goods, people and mail to and from the
island has not been easy. The forty-five minute to hour long trip across the Strait slows down what could be
a much faster trip. So in 1992 the government put out a proposal for a company to build what would be one
of the largest water crossings in the world. This bridge would reduce the time of the crossing down to about
15 minutes and save the government close to 10 million annually! The bridge will be built by Strait
Crossing development Incorporated. They will build the bridge and maintain it for 32 years at 42 million a
year. After 32 years in 2032 ownership of the bridge will be passed to the Government of Canada. This
modern bridge has everything you could think of in terms of safety and comfort. When originally planned
the bridge would be composed of a Causeway, a Bridge and a Tunnel. The current design is composed of a
main bridge with an smaller entrance bridge at each end.!
In the middle of the bridge, at the highest point, is the navigational span which will allow ships to pass
through. This is the strongest section of the bridge, in the event of an accident this section of the bridge
could be hit by a large ship at full speed and only sustain minimal damage! I have many friends in Prince
Edward Island, most are excited about the bridge. I have read in many articles that some believe the bridge
will effect what most people know the island for, Lobster! On the other hand a very close personal friend
runs one of the major lobster fisheries and says that the bedrock they are putting down for the foundations ,
are the kinds of habitats that lobsters like and that the lobster population will increase. Also, he says his
lobster will be able to get to the mainland much faster over the bridge. Hopefully with the increased
tourism there will be an increased demand for the lobster and the other smaller industries in Price Edward
Island. Personally I beli!
eve that this bridge will be seen as unifying Canada as one Country from East to West and that the very
interesting heritage that is located in Prince Edward Island will be discovered by the rest of Canada. I have
been to Prince Edward Island by ferry many times and I think it will be to bad that some will not
experience the ferry.


The bridge, now known as the Confederation bridge will be 12.9 kilometers long. It is scheduled
to open Sunday June 1, 1997 and will carry traffic 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There are two traffic lanes
in each direction, 3.75 meters across and two emergency lanes in each direct 1.75 meters across. The bridge
in total is 11 meters across. On the edges of the bridge there are 1.1 meter high steel reinforced concrete
walls. Also, if you are walking or cycling you will have to take a shuttle bus. If you as a driver feel that you
cannot drive for 15 minutes seeing only concrete and the other cars you can have you car put on a flatbed
truck and taken across the bridge. The speed limit on the highway will be 80 kilometers depending on the
weather conditions. The various signs can be changed by computer to display the speed limit, weather
conditions and any emergencies. The bridge will operate on a toll system. The entire bridge will be moniter
by video cameras located at 750 mete!
r intervals on poles. Public emergency phones are also located every 750 meters. The R.C.M.P. will
provide policing for the bridge. The bridge has been designed to last 100 years. The deepest the strait

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