Bay of Quinte Tourism

Throwback Thursday: Bridging the Trent

Old Trent Severn Bridge in Quinte West

In the spring of 1834, a wooden covered bridge joined the two sides of the Trent River creating a strong link in this main trade route from Kingston to York (now Toronto). A steel swing bridge was erected in 1916 and ‘The Veteran’s Skyway Gateway to the Trent’ bridge was slid into place in 1990. It now welcomes boaters as they enter the world-famous Trent-Severn Canal System at the mouth of the Bay of Quinte and the City of Quinte West’s new Trent Port Marina.

Trent Severn Bridge in Quinte West
The Veterans Memorial Bridge now acts as the entryway to the locks of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

The Veteran’s Skyway Gateway to the Trent Bridge was completed in 1990 on temporary piers about 10 metres south of its current location. It was built to replace an aging swing bridge that had been erected in 1916. Upon completion of the new structure, the original 1916 truss bridge was dismantled, while traffic was rerouted and allowed to use the new bridge. On November 19, 1990, the new bridge was slid into its correct current position (in proper alignment with Trenton’s main street) using hydraulic jacks on a Teflon slide path. The process of moving the 3,000 metric tonne structure took approximately four hours. It was reportedly the first time that a North American bridge had ever been shifted in a lateral direction, making it a true engineering feat.

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