kids encyclopedia robot

A. Murray MacKay Bridge facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
A. Murray MacKay Bridge
A Murray MacKay Bridge.jpg
The MacKay Bridge as seen from Halifax
Coordinates 44°40′40″N 63°36′43″W / 44.6778°N 63.6119°W / 44.6778; -63.6119
Carries Four lanes of Hwy 111
Crosses Halifax Harbour
Locale Halifax Regional Municipality (Halifax – Dartmouth)
Official name A. Murray MacKay Bridge
Other name(s) MacKay Bridge, the New Bridge
Maintained by Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission
MMSI 16141
Design Suspension bridge
Total length 1,200 metres (3,937 ft)
Width 4 lanes
Height 96 metres (315 ft)
Longest span 426 metres (1,398 ft)
Clearance above 55.2 metres (181.1 ft) at centre-span
Clearance below 46.9 metres (153.9 ft) at centre-span
Construction begin 1966
Opened July 10, 1970
Daily traffic 66,000 (2012)
Toll $1.00 CAD cash / $0.80 MACPASS

The A. Murray MacKay Bridge, known locally as "the new bridge", is a suspension bridge linking the Halifax Peninsula with Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and opened on July 10, 1970. It is one of two suspension bridges crossing Halifax Harbour, its counterpart, the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, having been completed in 1955. The bridge carries on average 52,000 vehicle crossings per day, and is part of Nova Scotia Highway 111.

As of April 1, 2011, the toll charge to cross for regular passenger vehicles is $1.00 cash, or 80¢ with the Macpass electronic toll system (60¢ tokens were once used but are no longer accepted as of May 1, 2008). Larger vehicles have higher tolls proportional to the number of axles. The Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission is exploring the idea of moving entirely to electronic tolls to avoid handling tokens or cash. The A. Murray MacKay Bridge is the only harbour bridge that permits semi-trailers and large trucks. Pedestrians and bicycles are not permitted on the A. Murray MacKay Bridge; they may instead use dedicated lanes on the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge.



The bridge opened in 1970.


A decision was made to finance the construction of the bridge with low-interest loans denominated in foreign currencies, saving money in the short term and allowing the tolls to be kept low. In 1969, the bridge commission issued a 10-year bond of 100 million Deutsche Marks in West Germany. In 1973, the bridge commission obtained a loan of C$12.2 million from a Swiss bank.

However, the subsequent decline in the value of the Canadian dollar against the German Mark and the Swiss franc cancelled out the interest cost advantage and caused a massive increase in annual debt servicing costs. At its peak, the commission's debt amounted to nearly $125 million, nearly triple the approximate $42 million combined cost of construction for both harbour bridges.


The bridge measures 1,200 m (3,900 ft), with the total of all suspended spans being 739.9 m (2,427 ft) in length, carrying four traffic lanes with posted speed limits of 70 km/h (43 mph). It was designed with a maximum road gradient of 4 per cent. It is notable as having been the first bridge built in North America using an orthotropic steel deck, which yielded a completed structure having half the overall mass of the nearby Macdonald Bridge. The bridge's engineering also pioneered the use of wind tunnel testing, which considered the impact of winds on the structure both during construction and when complete.

kids search engine
A. Murray MacKay Bridge Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.