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The Pakenham Five Span bridge was built in 1903 by Scottish Stone Masons over the Mississippi river and rapids at Pakenham in Lanark County, northwest of Stittsville.
The five-arch stone bridge is the only one in North America. It was original built to carry horses and carriages accross the Mississippi River to the mills in Pakenham.
It’s 268 feet long, 22 feet high and 25 feet wide. The largest stone
used in the construction weighs five tonnes.
Public pressure to preserve the bridge, rather than replacing it with a modern bridge, lead to the restoration of it in 1984 to make it suitable for truck and car traffic. During the resoration, each stone was removed and labelled, and then placed back in its original location over reinforced concrete.
If you’re driving out to Pakenham and it’s a warm day, check out Scoop’s Ice Cream on Waba Road, right in the middle of town.
(Adapted from LanarkCounty.ca)
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