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.

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This picture was shot from the north. Date and author are unknown.

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 current bridge is in good shape and is regularly inspected (I have seen them at work) by the Department of Transport.

Long live the Pont Noir!

12 thoughts on “How old is the Metal Bridge on Dunany Road?

  1. Peter

    Pont Noir, maybe. But it will always be the “Green Bridge” to me. Fond memories of Don Armstrong sr scaring the be-gezus out of oncoming drivers, along with his passengers. He liked showing that you can pass two cars at the same time. The good old days!

  2. Paul Macdougall

    Peter Hay who also scared the be-gezus out of few people named a bluegrass band The Green Bridge Barn Burners. Green Bridge Barn Burning was an expression of driving and trying to break the record from the bridge to DCC!

  3. Jane Burnell-Jones

    thanks for the history on the Dunany bridge, Jacques. In years gone by, I’ve driven over it when the water was pretty high in the Spring.

  4. Don Sutherland

    The photo shows what appears to be a wooden deck on the bridge. Does anyone remember when the current metal grid deck was installed?

  5. Silvia

    I think there is an error in your text (perhaps?) The bridge was called “Copeland Bridge” (not Coleman) because of the Copelands farm (my grandparents) living in the house directly on the North side.

  6. Mark Ware

    I think it was the Carters who told us the nickname “the humming bridge”. To this day, everytime we cross the bridge, all radio or music is turned off and no one talks to allow us to hear the hum and acknowledge the fact we have truly entered Dunany…our place of bliss!

  7. jacques_pigeon Post author

    You have a sharp eye, Sylvia. It is Copeland’s. Correction made.Thanks.

  8. Rob

    We always called it “Daddy’s Bridge” as a little boy as apparently my Dad, in his youth, jumped off the thing into the water below!

  9. Carol Hanna Wight

    Thanks for researching this and sharing with us. Very interesting!

  10. Carolyn McGuire

    Our kids and grandkids also refer to Copeland’s bridge as the “Humming Bridge”.

  11. Edith

    Very interesting information. Thanks Jacques for digging it up.
    Found the photo nice. Showing times gone by.

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