The Confederation Bridge/ Pont de la Conféderation

Leona Arsenault

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The Confederation Bridge connects Prince Edward Island with the rest of the Maritime provinces. The bridge became a much-debated item throughout the 1980s. There were many opposing points of views and contrasting opinions on how a fixed link would impact residents including farmers, fishermen, and tourism. Finally, in 1988 the decision was taken to the polls. Islanders voted yes to the bridge by a margin of only 9.4%.

After four years of construction, the bridge was open to traffic in May 1997. The author of the bilingual book, The Confederation Bridge/Pont de la Confédération, Leona Arsenault, was one of the 5000 people working on this project. Putting this book together, with her images of the bridge and researching the facts, brought back vivid memories of what it was like being one of a very few women to work on the bridge, recalls Arsenault. As much as the work was challenging, seeing spectacular sunrises and sunsets from a platform 60 meters above Northumberland Strait was rewarding in itself, she explains.

Book signing and meet the author will take place at Indigo in Charlottetown on May 4 from 2 to 4 pm, at Bookmark in Charlottetown on May 17 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and at Coles Bookstore in Summerside on May 18, 2 to 4 pm. The book can also be found in a number of gift shops across Prince Edward Island.