This incredible feat of engineering, known to locals as the “Fixed Link,” provides the only road link between the province of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick in mainland Canada. Stretching an impressive 7.5 miles across the Northumberland Strait (it takes a full 10 minutes to drive across), the Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge in Canada and the longest span in the world to extend over (seasonally) ice-covered waters. Believe it or not, this bridge was built in 1997, despite there being various proposals for a land link between the provinces starting as early as the 1870s. With the rising costs of the ferry service, a proposal by a Nova Scotia businessman is the one that finally stuck, and the consultation process began.
Some opposed the bridge, citing fears it would change their little island, or possibly endanger the marine ecosystem of the strait. In the end, and after an amendment to the Constitution of Canada even, the multi-span concrete bridge was greenlit and began construction. As hoped for, the eye-catching bridge did indeed facilitate an increase in tourism in PEI, and it remains a vital connection between the nation and its smallest province.
A toll bridge costs just under 50 CAD to cross with the average vehicle. Interestingly, cyclists and pedestrians are not permitted on this narrow bridge due to safety concerns, but a shuttle is operated to take them across. The bridge closes when winds are high, particularly to truck traffic.
Know Before You Go
The Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area at the foot of the bridge on the New Brunswick side offers a beautiful view of the structure. There is a boardwalk along the water and a trail that connects to a nature centre that displays information about the construction of the bridge.