How old is the Metal Bridge on Dunany Road?
Well, a bit more than 100 years. Actually, it was built in 1912-13.
It was then called Copeland’s Bridge, replacing an 1835 wooden bridge called Powers Bridge. The plans for the metal bridge were drafted by the Quebec Department of Public Works in February 1912 and signed by its Chief Engineer, Louis A. Vallée. The steel structure was built by the Dominion Bridge Company in Lachine , a renowned bridge builders in Quebec responsible for large projects such as the Mercier Bridge over the St. Lawrence. It was originally painted black.
In 1983, the Commission de Toponymie du Québec, the organization charged with naming places and structures officially designated it as Pont Noir. I had never heard this before doing my search for this story!
The first bridge on this site, named Power’s Bridge, was built in 1835 so that Irish settlers could reach their assigned lots in Gore and in Wentworth and bring their wood to the mill in Lachute. In 1885, a major flood destroyed this wooden bridge and it was replaced with another wooden structure the following year. But in 1903-04, this new structure was declared unsafe and later closed.
The bridge was closed from April to November 2019 to allow for a complete restoration.
Long live le Pont Noir!