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Canso Causeway Swing Bridge

Canso Causeway Swing Bridge, Port Hastings, NS
Structural investigation of Canso Causeway Swing Bridge through inspection and structural evaluation and provision of recommendations on repairs and upgrades (Structural Engineering)
Completed: February 2014

Detailed description

The Canso Causeway Swing Bridge, spanning the Canso Canal, connects Cape Breton Island with the Mainland Nova Scotia. Carrying a two lane highway and a railway line, The Bridge carries a significant volume of vehicular and railway traffic, and as such, is a vital communication link not only to Cape Breton Island, but also to Newfoundland. 

The bridge swings open each time a vessel passes through the Canso Canal. It is estimated that over 125,000 vessels of various sizes and tonnage have passed through the canal since its construction in 1955, and it would be safe to assume that the bridge has gone through approximately the same number of opening and closing cycles during its life.  In addition, the bridge has been subjected to significant vehicular as well as railway traffic. The work included visual inspection of the bridge and the substructure. The inspection of the superstructure and members located over the canal was carried out using rope access technology thereby avoiding the use of scaffolding and other access equipment and reducing the bridge closures to a minimum. A structural evaluation of the superstructure was carried out to identify structural deficiencies.  Based on the inspections and structural evaluation, SHM Canada provided recommendations on immediate, short term and long term maintenance requirements and upgrades, and associated forecasted costs.

In May 2014 SHM Canada was commissioned by NSTIR to design the recommended repairs and replacements.