The Confederation Bridge is a structure that connects New Brunswick and the province of PEI (Prince Edward Island) on the mainland of Canada. This has resulted in a convenient method of travel since the opening of the bridge in the year 1997. During the years of construction of this bridge the average GDP for Prince Edward Island increased over 5% that resulted in a mini-boom in their economy.
Before the Confederation Bridge, the way to PEI was only possible going by ship or air in the summer months. A number of the Canada cruises made use of the port stop in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island in the summer time and the early fall, but these stops were usually limited to either one or two nights stay. For those travelers that arrived in PEI by air or ferry, they only had the option to rent a car in Charlottetown.
However, in the 1980’s there were a number of conflicting debates about the construction of this bridge. This was due to various sectors of the Prince Edward Island residents that had their own opinions that involved the impact of having a link that would provide year-round access to the island. These conflicts were finally laid to rest in a vote that was made in 1988. In this vote over 60% of the residents voted that they favored the construction on the bridge.
The most important fact related to the Confederation Bridge is that it is to date the longest structure worldwide that stretches over ice-covered water. This particular fact has made this bridge an engineering marvel for the 20th century. Other interesting facts about the structure is the outstanding price of around 1 billion dollars, the 8 mile length and that it took over 5,000 construction workers to complete the job. Other bridges that are compared to the Confederation Bridge that also cross over ice-covered water include the New Saratov Bridge in Russia that crosses over the Volga River and is just under the 8 mile length. The next bridge known as Oresund Bridge connects Sweden and Denmark and is actually longer than the Confederation Bridge but crosses an island for about 2 miles of the total length.
The Confederation Bridge is only used as a roadway and does not feature bicycle paths, pedestrian sidewalks or train tracks. However, there are shuttle services that are in place that cross over the bridge, so individuals who would like to bring their bicycles along can do so by making arrangements in advance. Also remember you can read more at their official website here!
Before the construction of this bridge, the Trans-Canada Highway was the connection to the 9 lower provinces in Canada. These included connections from British Columbia, Vancouver to the Cape Breton Island based in Nova Scotia. Today, PEI is known as the 10th province that is linked up to the Trans-Canada Highway. When traveling from Prince Edward Island travelers are required to pay a toll to cross over the bridge and it takes on average around 10 minutes to drive over the bridge.
While many facts associated to the Confederation Bridge in Canada are extremely interesting, most visitors just take joy in marveling at the beauty of this gracefully curving structure that stretches for miles. The bridge is just as equally dramatic in both the summer and winter months. Since its opening tourism to PEI has dramatically increased. However, the visitors to this small island usually only come on a day trip from the area of Halifax. This particular province has responded to the trends in development by developing more upscale amenities like luxury hotels and golf courses.