History of the MacKay Bridge

The opening of the A. Murray MacKay Bridge on July 10, 1970 was another historic event for Halifax Dartmouth Bridge Commission. The opening of the MacKay Bridge drew international interest due to its design and the engineering techniques that were applied to its construction for the first time in North America.

The MacKay Bridge was named after the Commission’s former Chairman from 1951 to 1971.

Mr. MacKay was instrumental in the construction of both the Macdonald and MacKay Bridges, as they were both opened during his time as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. Also, at the time, Mr. MacKay was the Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Tel & Tel. It seemed fitting that the bridge be named after this prominent community member.


A. Murray MacKay Bridge Stats
Total Length: 1.2 km (0.77 mi.) Suspension Bridge Suspended Spans: 739.9 m (2,427.8 ft.)
Length of Halifax Approach: 114.3 m (375 ft.) Length of Dartmouth Approach: 381.9 m (1,253 ft.)
Width of Deck: 15.6 m (51.1 ft.)
Width of Each Traffic Lane: 4.1 m (12.775 ft.)
Height of Towers: 96 m (315 ft.)
Height of Road Deck (above water at centre span): 55.2 m (181.21 ft.)
Clearance Under Bridge (at centre span, high water level): 46.9 m (153.87 ft.)
Number of Traffic Lanes: 4
This description should not be used for navigational transportation purposes.
Further detail can be provided by the Commission.
No bicycle or pedestrians/Vehicle clearance-4.1 meters
Traffic Statistics:
Daily average vehicle crossings 54,000
Highest traffic day and record for both bridges – December 14, 2012 – 123,904
Total annual vehicle crossings 33,000,000
Total Annual MACPASS Volume xxx