It was a massive project that almost never happened. The Thousand Islands Bridge System was planned out in the early 1920s. Then the Great Depression came, putting the plan on the backburner. But as Brian Dwyer explains, people came together to raise the money, and 75 years ago this week, construction got underway.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- The idea came about in the 1920s, but it took nearly two decades before work began on the Thousand Islands Bridge System. Construction started 75 years ago this week.
The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority hosted an official groundbreaking on the bridges and buildings on April 30th, 1937.
The $2.5 million project employed thousands of workers still recovering from the Great Depression. And the workers not only finished on time, but 10 weeks early.
The Authority said it's rather amazing to think that the bridge is not only still viable, but able to accommodate today's traffic and today's heavy trucks.
"It's a huge compliment not only to the designers and the first Authority, but also the employees over the years that have maintained these structures to the integrity that they are today," said Robert Horr, TIBA Exec. Director.
During the construction, one worker did die. It was one day before the bridge opened. A man fell while taking down scaffolding.