Bridge 13

Bridge 13 lights up with a variety of colours to commemorate celebrations and events.

East and West Main Streets

Bridge 13, known as the Main Street bridge, was built between 1927 to 1930, during the construction of the fourth Welland Canal (1913 to 1933). This bridge was one of the three largest vertical lift bridges on the canal with a roadway width of 30 feet, girder width of 34.5 feet, and a length of 231 feet, 5 5/8 inches. It was also the most expensive, costing $986,363.

The Main Street bridge’s design is unique in that its towers are set at an angle to both the waterway and the connecting roadways. The bridge is significantly skewed in terms of its angle to the waterway, being set at an angle of 22 degrees, 24 minutes, and 30 seconds off the normal 90 degree angle. No other canal bridges were more than 12 degrees off square.

The superstructure is composed of two towers with main columns in box form and a central lifting span. The machinery house in the centre of the lifting span has two storeys, and once contained the lifting apparatus. The main contract for the superstructure was awarded to the Dominion Bridge Company of Lachine, Quebec. A local firm, Maguire, Cameron, and Phin, were hired as sub-contractors for all of the concrete work. This company remained in business in Welland until the 1970s.

The bridge is one of only two structures in Welland to have been built almost entirely by Indigenous Peoples. All of the structural high steel was done by Mohawk people.

From its beginnings, the Main Street bridge affected the lives of Welland’s inhabitants. It was the only link between the east and west portions of downtown Welland. Its height and central location make the bridge a dominant element and recognizable landmark in the downtown core.

For special illumination requests, please contact the Downtown Welland BIA.

image of bridge 13 during the day
image of bridge 13 at night glowing orange
image of bridge 13 in the 1970s
image of a bridge before Bridge 13
image of bridge 13 at night glowing blue
aerial image of bridge 13 at night