The Confederation Bridge
While until a few years ago, you could only reach (or leave) the Island by ferry, today, you can take the Confederation Bridge, which is not only faster, but open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in pretty well all kinds of weather.
The 12.9 km (9 mile) Confederation Bridge joins Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island and Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick and is the longest bridge over ice covered waters in the world.
The Bridge is privately maintained, managed and operated by Strait Crossing Ltd. and its subsidiary company Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.
Opened on May 31, 1997, the bridge is 11 m wide and carries two lanes of traffic, each 3.75 m wide, with an emergency shoulder lane 1.75 m wide for each direction of traffic.
At the normal travelling speed is 80 km/h it takes approximately 10 minutes to cross the Bridge. Overtaking and passing are not permitted on the Bridge. Vehicles carrying Dangerous Goods and Special Loads are required to report to the Bridge Control Centre to receive crossing information.
A round trip Bridge toll is paid on exiting Prince Edward Island.
Services available on the Bridge include, full video surveillance, emergency call boxes, fire extinguishing, emergency alarm system, emergency response system. There is also a free shuttle service available for people travelling on foot or bicycle.
Some more useful Bridge Trivia:
- The 12.9 km long Confederation Bridge is comprised of three parts
- The West Approach Bridge leaves Jourimain Island, New-Brunswick and consists of 1.3 km over 14 piers;
- The East Approach Bridge leaves Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island and consists of 0.6 km over seven piers;
- The Main Bridge (11.0 km) joins the approach bridges and rests on 44 piers
- The Bridge is curved to ensure drivers remain attentive and reduce the potential for accidents.
- The Bridge has a hollow core interior and acts as a utility corridor for electrical services, telephone, and other utilities to and from the Island
- The 1.1 metre high concrete barriers on the Bridge prevent drivers from seeing directly down over the side of the Bridge as well as acting as a windbreak
- The distance between main piers is 250 metres
- The Bridge's highest point is located at the Navigation Span - 60 metres above water with the average height being 40 metres
- There are 310 streetlights illuminating the Bridge
- Emergency telephones and fire extinguishers are on the Bridge every 750 metres.
- There are 17 closed circuit television cameras for full surveillance coverage of the Bridge
- There are 7,300 drain ports on the Bridge to allow for the runoff of rainwater and melting snow and ice
- The Bridge's electrical system for the traffic lights, street lights and toll system is supported by an uninterruptable power supply.
- Speed limits on the Bridge may be adjusted from the normal 80 km/h during certain conditions. Adjusted speed limits are displayed to drivers via the electronic variable speed signs on the Bridge
- There are 34 traffic signal units on the Bridge - in normal conditions all signals will be green