Picture by David Hodson

On August 25, 1974 the 600-foot Steelton struck the center span of Bridge 12, near Port Robinson, in the Welland Canal. The Collision knocked the bridge down and the Steelton suffered extensive pilothouse damage, estimated at a million dollars. The canal had to be completely shut down for 15 days resuming on Sept. 9. The Steelton, owned by Bethlehem Steel,  was downbound from Buffalo when the accident occurred. An investigation found the ship at fault for the accident. The vessel passed the limit of approach point before the bridge was fully raised.

Repairs to the bridge were estimated to be $15-20 million dollars and it was never replaced. The Steelton was repaired at Port Colborne and sailed until 1978. In 1982 it was converted for use as a cement unloading and storage vessel for use in Chicago and renamed C.T.C. NO. 1.

 

The Port Robinson Bridge after the accident. David Hodson
Another view.
David Hodson
Close up.
David Hodson
The pilot house of the Steelton.
Welland Library

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