Niagara Falls Ice Bridge…Just What Exactly is an Ice Bridge?
Ice Bridges have been found at Niagara Falls during severely cold winters (like the one we are having now) ever since water over the falls has been flowing. An ice bridge is when the surface water below the falls (or in the shoe as locals call it) freezes forming an “ice bridge” between Canada and the United States. Before February 1912 people would frolic on this bridge of ice. It was a great family outing on a bright sunny day. However, it was forbidden after 3 people lost their lives when this ice bridge broke up and carried them to their deaths in the cold Niagara River. I’ve attached a photograph taken of the tragic event.
Another spectacular event occurred on January 27th, 1938 when a severe ice bridge got so high it pushed the Upper Steel Arch Bridge (Honeymoon Bridge) off it’s foundation. The bridge had been closed because of the fear this would happen and there was no loss of life. Interestingly, the steel bridge remained on the ice bridge until the ice bridge started to break up due to warmer weather. Finally on April 13th, 1938 the steel bridge sank into the Niagara River.
As I write this blog there is no complete ice bridge at the falls. However, conditions change quickly as a result of the winds that force more ice down the Niagara River and over the falls forming this natural phenomenon.