Arch over Cornwall is gone; main span of north channel bridge on terra firma

The arch of the north channel bridge is a few feet from its resting place in this photo taken around 10 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015. The lowering of the 950 ton bridge piece was a painstaking exercise for demolition crews. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Closing the month of September 2015 also meant closing a chapter on one of Cornwall’s transportation landmarks.

The main arch of the north channel bridge – once a part of artistic designs and logos – was lowered to the ground in a painstaking exercise that took over 12 hours.

The work began Wednesday morning with American Bridge workers cutting the arch free just after 8 a.m.

Then came the job of lowering it using four large cable guides, called strand jacks, bringing the 950 ton arch down at a rate of 15 feet per hour (4.6 meters per hour) from its perch over 100 feet (30.5 meters) in the air.

An American Bridge Canada worker uses a measuring stick to see how close the arch is to its final resting location. The bridge was lowered to the ground in an exercise that took roughly 12 hours on Sept. 30, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
An American Bridge Canada worker uses a measuring stick to see how close the arch is to its final resting location. The bridge was lowered to the ground in an exercise that took roughly 12 hours on Sept. 30, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Hundreds of people came out around the area of Water Street and Brookdale Avenue to watch the event – some setting up lawn chairs – others turning the west end of Lamoureux Park into a makeshift parking lot.

The lowering stopped briefly after one cable snapped but with hundreds of cables suspending the structure there were no safety issues.

The arch touched down just before 11 p.m. Wednesday night to the relief of workers and to the joy of onlookers, many braving the damp, cold (10C/50F) night.

Click on the photos below to see some more shots of the bridge (courtesy Phillip Blancher):

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