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What is my name and who built me?


  Ellet Bridge 
 Ellet Bridge

From Gleason’s Pictorial Magazine September 9, 1854


This bridge was built by Charles Ellet in 1848 at the rapids below Niagara Falls as a preliminary to building a combined railroad and carriage bridge across the gorge. Ellet had won the competition to build the bridge over John A. Roebling. His contract was to, “build a wire suspension bridge across the Niagara river at the site already selected, and to be furnished by the said companies; said bridge to be about 800 foot span, 28 feet wide between the parapets; to make said bridge so as to furnish two footways, each 4 feet wide-two carriage ways 7 ½ feet wide and one railway track; to make the cables of said bridge so as to present an ultimate strength of not less than 6,500 tons, and to make the bridge so stable that it may pass trains not less than 24 tons gross weight, drawn by locomotives of five or six tons weight, and that a locomotive of 20 tons weight shall not depress the flooring over 7 ½ inches, to build the towers of said bridge in an ornamental style and of large and good stone, appropriately dressed, and to prove the bridge uniformly distributed along the flooring, and to commence the work as soon as it can be advantageously done, and to deliver it complete on the first day of May, 1849.” He planned on using the bridge as a platform to build his permanent bridge but after it was built, and with the Directors not paying him his agreed to dollars, he started to charge tolls for people to cross the gorge. This upset the Directors and a long legal battle ensued This resulted in Ellet giving up his contract to build the combination bridge. His bridge was reinforced and remained in service until Roebling was able to finish his double deck bridge in 1855.

 Ellet Bridge-Deck section
 Bridge Deck Section of Ellet before railings


 Roebling Replacement Bridge
 Roebling’s Replacement Bridge 1855