The Thousand Islands International Bridge (French: Pont des Mille-îles) is an American-maintained international bridge system over the Saint Lawrence River connecting northern New York in the United States with southeastern Ontario in Canada. Constructed in 1937, with additions in 1959, the bridges span the Canada–US border in the middle of the Thousand Islands region. All bridges in the system carry two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, with pedestrian sidewalks.
Thousand Islands International Bridge
|Carries||2 lanes of I-81 and Highway 137|
|Crosses||Saint Lawrence River|
|Locale||Wellesley Island, New York, United States to Hill Island, Ontario, Canada|
|Official name||The Thousand Islands Bridge system|
|Maintained by||Thousand Islands Bridge Authority|
|Design||suspension, open-spandrel deck arch bridge & truss bridge|
|Total length||Total: 8.5 mi (13.7 km)|
|Longest span||American suspension: 800 ft (240 m)|
Canadian suspension: 750 ft (230 m)
Canadian truss: 600 ft (180 m)
|Clearance below||U.S.: 150 ft (46 m)|
Canada: 120 ft (37 m)
|Construction start||April 30, 1937|
|Toll||Varies $3.00–$17.25 (USD) or $4.00–$23.50 (CAD)|
The Thousand Islands International Bridge system is a series of five bridges spanning the St. Lawrence River. From south to north, they are:
- American mainland to Wellesley Island (main span)
- Wellesley Island to Hill Island (international crossing)
- Hill Island to Constance Island
- Constance Island to Georgina Island
- Georgina Island to Canadian mainland
The bridge system is administered by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, a New York State public benefit corporation, whose seven board members (Four Americans and three Canadians) are appointed by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. The Authority also maintains and administers Boldt Castle.
Tolls are paid only by cash, E-ZPass, or Commuter Discount Fare Trip Tags, which are prepaid for either 16 trips (US$20.00) or 72 trips (US$32.00). The Bridge Authority is a member of the multi-state E-ZPass consortium, and introduced electronic toll collection in June 2019. No other ETC transponders are currently offered or accepted, although the Bridge Authority offers sales of transponders of Florida's SunPass for the convenience of Canadian travelers en route to Florida.
It is the westernmost of the three St. Lawrence River crossings, and is very busy, with up to two-hour waits in the summer. The US border station at Alexandria Bay is sometimes called Thousand Islands. The Canada border station of Lansdowne is sometimes called Gananoque, for the nearby town where international ferry service is provided. These border stations are also responsible for inspecting vessel traffic between the countries. The US has seasonal vessel inspection stations on Heart Island and at Cape Vincent, NY, and Canada has seasonal vessel inspection stations at Rockport, Ontario and Gananoque, Ontario. Both Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) travel to selected ports and marinas on request for inspections.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2019)
The entire Thousand Islands Bridge system took sixteen months to build. Completed ten weeks ahead of schedule, its total cost was $3.05 million (equivalent to $43.66 million in 2020 dollars).
Shortly after opening, the bridge displayed aerodynamic oscillation problems that were quickly corrected via structural upgrades.
In its early years of its operation, around 150,000 vehicles crossed the bridge annually. Today, annual crossings exceed 2,000,000 vehicles.
- List of bridges in Canada
- List of crossings of the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes
- Boldt Castle (landmark owned by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority)
- Dewolf Point State Park
- Sewells Road Bridge
- Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge
- Ambassador Bridge
- Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
- "Thousand Islands International Bridge Facts". Tibridge.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
- Thousand Islands Bridge Authority Toll Rate Classification Schedule, 1 April 2018, retrieved 21 July 2018
- "Our History". Tibridge.com. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
- "Authority Info". Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Bridge to accept EZPass".
- "E-ZPass comes to Thousand Islands Bridge". WWNY 7News. WWNY-TV. 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
- "Florida's SunPass electronic toll device soon to be accepted in more states". miamiherald. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "Chapter 4: The Watery Boundary". United Divide: A Linear Portrait of the USA/Canada Border. The Center for Land Use Interpretation. Winter 2015.
- "In the Wake of Tacoma", pg. 59-60, ISBN 0-7844-0542-5.
- Thousand Islands Bridge Authority
- Aerial photos of the Thousand Island Bridge System
- Ian Coristine's Thousand Islands Canadian Span & Area Gallery
- Tim Kocher's Riverview Photography of Ships Navigating Under the American Span & Gallery
- CBC Digital Archives: Recording of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's address at the opening of the Thousand Islands Bridge