Not sure of source of "Red Car Bridge." Nimke (The Central New England Railway Story" refers to it as Red Stone Bridge.
The Mine Brook arch was built in 1898 when the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad decided to fill in the wrought iron Cobalt Viaduct, originally built in 1873. The arch had to be built to allow Mine Brook to pass under the filled in viaduct. The project took most of 1898 to complete. The Cobalt Viaduct was the first, and smallest, of three iron viaducts on the Airline to be filled in. The much larger Rapallo and Lyman viaducts, a few miles further east, would be filled in in 1912/1913. Like the Rapallo and Lyman viaducts, the Cobalt Viaduct is still there, buried under tons of sand and cinders.
The summer of 2020 has been a dry one, and predictably, the Harvey Mountain Road Bridge has made another appearance, albeit a partial one.
Just to let you know that this bridge is presently closed for replacement due to the damage shown in the your picture. I live next to it. I have attached a photo of the bridge as it is today.
Thanks, R J Barth
Grew up right next to this bridge. Fished off of it alot. Before it was a tar roadway it was steel waffle and very slippery when wet. lots of accidents on sunday with people leaving peoples forest...
The bridge was again renovated in 2017:
The Preston bridge shown on this post replaced the covered Preston Bridge built in 1717. It was built in 1870 and it was not replaced to my knowledge.
Thanks Luke, it's good to be back!
Good to see you posting again, Ian!
You are right, Ian. That new photo shows it clearly.
I'm fairly certain it's the Rockfall bridge - the arch in the southern abutment was what clued me in to the location. It's in the shadows in the left edge of the NERail picture, but here's a better shot showing it more clearly: https://www.flickr.com/photos/114763635@N06/28143243972/.
I am doubtful that this bridge was located at Rockfall.
While it is a NHM&W RR bridge, the two photos (likely taken
at the same time) show a roadway arch as part of the stone
abutment. While I have not visited the site personally, the
photo on the NERAIL Photo Archive website shows no such
arch. (Link provided on successor page BH 61947 Rockfall
High Bridge.) In addition, no roadway is evident on the TOPO
map for 1893 or Google Earth. Presumably the bridge location
is in the Middletown area, since the photographer (Bundy)
had his studio there, but for me the location of this bridge
is still a mystery.
Here is some information that may answer some of your questions. The original bridge consisted of three 90 foot fixed deck truss, double-track spans and one deck truss draw span.The foundations of the old piers were used but the masonry was taken down and replaced with piers wide enough for four tracks. (This information is from the Nomination Form of 1977)
"This bridge was unique because it was originally powered by two diesel engines rather than electric motors. The engines, which had fluid torque-converter transmissions were located at track level inside the operator's house just east of the movable span. Power was transmitted from the operator's house to the movable spans by means of shafts and gears, with the final operating effect carried out by a pinion, mounted to the moving span, that engaged a fixed rack." (Connecticut DOT 2004) The gears and shafts in the photo are likely remnants of the old arrangement, left there from the 1990 rebuild when electric motors were installed.
I know this bridge was built in 1905... but it REPLACED another drawbridge and I cant find ANYTHING about the previous bridge. I know it existed because it is mentioned in harbor improvement reports from the 1890s. Also, some of the gears from the works of the previous bridge are still sitting there on the ground at the East end of the current bridge. Any ideas?
Standard ASSHTO requirements silliness...
However, I think you are looking at this incorrectly. No restoration took place. The preservation aspect is that the original structure was ignored and not interfered with in the opening of the crossing for pedestrian use. Compared with demolition, which was likely considered, this is a relatively benign outcome. Someday, if idiot-proofing to present levels isn't required, the bridge can be restored.
Closure information from public works:
Acting on Mr. Cunningham's lead, we visited this site recently.I don't like to be critical when it comes to attempts to preserve historic bridges, but this job is pathetic. The bridge and its trusses are totally non-functional; the I-beams rest on abutments several inches above the originals (I know, trail bridges need to be able to support EMT vehicles, but they could be less obtrusive.) And a good paint job is needed. What a shame.
It looks like this has been replaced with a new walking bridge.
Where is the schedule for the bridge building breaks. I have to be at Backus at 10:30am each day for radiation. Any help around?
Nice find Chester! The previous bridge was definitely a Pratt through truss.
I've updated the build date based on your findings. Hopefully, you, or someone else here, will create an entry for the prior bridge to properly display your findings and images.
I have been unable to find any contemporary photographs of this bridge. Colebrook Town Records indicate that on a meeting Oct. 29,1938, it was voted "to replace or reconstruct" "the iron bridge across the West Branch of the Farmington at the center of the village of Colebrook River." On May 22, 1939 at a special meeting the estimate for the bridge was "$6,000 for superstructure and plates". It seems the original bridge was damaged or washed out in the flood of September 21, 1938. This indicates that the present bridge was built probably in 1939. While the Berlin Construction Co.is not specifically mentioned, they would have been a logical choice for a builder.
The attached photos are of the prior bridge, definitely a through truss and possibly Pratt in design. The distant photo was taken by Una Clingan Rands, a woman photographer who took many glass plate photographs in the Colebrook area. The view is from 1923. The postcard picture, from 1907, also shows the cotton mill located on the west bank slightly upstream of the bridge.
Apparently "metal arch" in Conn DOT parlance means "metal culvert", as in this case as well as others.
Neat story... Glad they decided to save it!
Rail cars crossed the bridge and parked adjacent to runway in 2019
While seriously damaged, the bridge still exists--barely. The arch facing Lower Blissville Road is complete. The deck is gone, as well as the other arch.
Granted. I see it i thought that was the truss at the front!
Re-read Chester's description, and look REALLY close at the deck truss to the right of the covered bridge, which is clearly mounted above a pit. A pit which I guarantee you held the movable bits.
This bridge is not a swing bridge, swing bridges have center and rim bearings it just look fixed!!!!!
Thank you for posting that fine stereopticon of the layout at Norwich. Photos of that setup are few indeed. Attached is a sketch of how the operation was accomplished. I lifted this from Elmer F. Farnhams book "The Quickest Route" published by Pequot Press (1973).
Whipple by Whipple :^)
Passed by on River Road today--restoration has begun. The bridge has been disassembled; parts that can be re-used will be refurbished; parts that cannot will be replaced with steel copies, and the whole thing is scheduled to take 18 months.
According to the book "Connecticut's Historic Highway Bridges" published by Connecticut DOT, the Arrigoni Bridge was named for the legislator who promoted the project, and was designed by Leslie G. Summer of the State Highway Department and William G. Grove of the American Bridge Company. The New York firm of Robinson and Steinman served as consulting engineers. Bethlehem Steel Company was the actual fabricator. The only relationship between American Bridge Company and the Arrigoni Bridge appears to be through Mr. Grove himself.
I am not sure but I think the confusion might be because Grove changed jobs often. I find references to Grove being with American Bridge but they predate this bridge. Later, after the Arrigoni Bridge was built it seems Grove became an employee of the Connecticut State Highway Department. Any input or corrections to my findings are welcome.
HAER Data Pages Attached
Can anyone explain why American Bridge is listed for this bridge, and why William G. Grove is listed as an engineer for the American Bridge Company?
The plaque on this bridge states that the superstructure contractor was Bethlehem Steel Company and the following news article states that William G. Grove worked for Robinson and Steinman... which to me makes more sense because Robinson and Steinman is not named on the plaque, and I was trying to figure out how Robinson and Steinman had a role in designing the bridge and if the below article is correct, Grove is the connection to the company. Its weird that Grove is named on the plaque rather than the firm he worked for.
The newer of the two tunnels (concrete lined) at this location has been filled in or caved in as of my visit on 11/5/19. the cut was too steep to scramble down with my camera bag on so I walked along the most recent train tracks (highest cut, no tunnel) to try to find the opening to get to the other side of the tunnel and walked off to the side to find it. I found the location based on photos i've seen and i didn't realize that I was on top of where the tunnel should be exposed until I was at the top. I recommend staying away from the west side (caved in) because im not sure of what you are standing on.
The structural steel and decking were replaced but the original ornamental iron work was saved and restored.
I have discovered that this bridge was not rehabilitated in 1984. It was DEMOLISHED AND REPLACED with a BOLTED bridge with similar design details. 100% all-new steel on the bridge, and even the plaques overhead read 1984. While the bridge might have some marginal interpretive value, it is NOT HISTORIC.
Although not the focus of this article, read thru it and you will learn that this bridge (which currently has unaltered original railing) is going to be visually ruined by the addition of 8 foot high fencing.
A small correction. The rr trestle was taken down long after the flood dam was constructed. We use to walk over the wooden trestle which was filled in as you reported. It was covered in dark black coal cinders. It was something to be ninety feet up. Someone suggested that the Georgia pine timbers were rotting underneath. I know we were there into the seventies. Lowering came later. The whole area was ruined with the new dam.
This article suggests that instead of demolition, this bridge might be repaired instead, starting late 2019.
I appreciate the efforts of Bridgehunter.com to bring such valuable information about bridges to public, engineers, as well as researchers.
For Stratford Avenue Bridge, I was very surprised to see that the bridge built in 1975, after 25 years under service, in 2000 its superstructure and substructure rating was "Poor, 4/9". I wished there was more information on why the bridge became Poor so fast?
I am sure it is in the Routine Inspection Report.
Again, thank you so much for your time and efforts and best wishes.
Is that a hydroelectric plant I see at the dam?
Likely a smaller regional builder, possibly as early as the 1860's. Not feeling CBW on this one.
I'm trying to figure this one out. It has a lot of characteristics of a CBW but there are enough differences to make me doubt it. Anyone have any thoughts on a maker?
In the Google Street View dtd 9/2013, the stone arch is present just north of the road. Either someone is trying to rebuild it, or remnants of the bridge still remain.
Fabulous pictures. Great bridge. Does anyone know about when a train goes over the bridge? Thank you.
The location of the bridge is listed as East Haven, probably because thatís what the link says. But the bridge actually connects the Fair Haven and Fair Haven Heights neighborhoods of New Haven. It is not in East Haven at all.
Take the roof off the hothouse, mother--the corn is growing tall tonight!
I wonder what Col Tupper's wares were like. :')
Hi, this bridge was renamed the 'Bataan Corregidor Memorial Bridge' in honor of World War II servicemen who fought in the Battle of Bataan and the Battle of Corregidor on Saturday, December 7 2013. ref: https://patch.com/connecticut/simsbury/bataan-corregidor-bri...
The two obvious choices are Cooper-Hewitt (Trenton Iron Co.) and John A. Roebling and Sons.
The dark horse is Corwin Iron Works out of Lambertville (just up the river) as he regularly worked with Lowthrop.
Trenton Locomotive and Machine Works, maker of the Hamden road Fink, is a possibility but I suspect they were just a division of Cooper-Hewitt.
These are just my initial thoughts. If time permits, I'll do some research.
A likely candidate would be the Birmingham Iron Foundry of Birmingham (now Derby) CT
Art, according to https://books.google.com/books?id=t1dFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA101&dq=l...
a company from Birmingham CT made the frame and a company from Trenton NJ made the tension rods.
Image is of the Riverside Avenue Bridge
Nice find, Chester!
Wow, we miss you Ron Barnes! I just stumbled across this, saw your name. It's a shame that when you are were around I didn't know you were into trains also and possibly abandoned infrastructure also. If anyone else that knows me or (the now deceased) Ronald, and/or simply wants to walk the entire former Waterberry Meriden Connecticut River Line in an upcoming summer, HMU at my first & last name no spaces at cox.net . I'll fly out from San Diego as I do many late summers. Ciao
Manchester Mel! Early Spring
This website here talks about a bridge in Rusk Texas that is 546 ft long and they claim it's the longest Footbridge in the United States. Wrong!
This website here talks about a bridge in Rusk Texas that is 546 ft long and they claim it's the longest Footbridge in the United States.http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM60V4_LONGEST_Footbridge_in_the_US_Rusk_TX
If this is a Truesdell patant bridge--and I have no reason to doubt it--then it was most likely erected by the firm of A. D. Briggs of Springfield, Mass. According to the Hartford (CT) Weekly Times of May 17,1873, "In 1863 Mr. Truesdell sold the rights to build bridges in New England to Mr. A.D.Briggs of Springfield, who has erected about 40 of the Truesdell bridges between that and the present time." Lucius E. Truesdell was from Warren, MA, a short distance east of Springfield, which may partially explain why the Briggs company was chosen.
If my eyes don't deceive me that looks like a Truesdell truss. The design & details look pretty close to the remaining example up in NH:
This bridge is a spectacular discovery! It is always a good day when a lenticular truss surfaces. I will have to add it to my Connecticut bucket list.
Thats a beauty...thanks Chester!
This is quite a strong design too, no doubt owing to the industrial nature of its usage. Its quite similar to the Interlaken Mill bridge over in RI ( http://bridgehunter.com/ri/kent/interlaken-mill ) with its floorbeams at or above the lower chord and pinned endposts, never mind the much more substantial upper and lower chords.
Hope they can find a preservation use for this one...its much to important to be left in this condition!
Chester thanks for Sharing, AWESOME!
Best Kept secret! Suggestions for this year?
I'm so glad to see photos!
Is it just me or does that lenticular looks...off. From what I can figure, its missing an entire panel on one side. The end abutting against the covered bridge looks normal enough with the upper and lower chords meeting and the portal bracing offset. The other end has the portal bracing directly on the end, and the lower and upper chord don't come anywhere near meeting.
I'd be curious how this one came to be built like this. Maybe this was a recycled bridge cut down to fit a shorter crossing'?
I agree, more research is needed. But a quick thought on the width though, as I considered that as well: Since the line was operating on a curve, it would have to be wider to accommodate it. I've seen a few other examples in my time where a through railraod bridge was wider then normal to accommodate a curvature.
But either way it was definitely built for some use of the factory complex that was here.
I don't believe this is an old railroad bridge. The adjacent line, which is the old Naugatuck Railroad main, is at a higher elevation. Secondly, this bridge is much wider than a spur line bridge would expected to be--twice as wide as the adjacent main line bridge. Since this used to be an industrial area, my vote would be a private industrial bridge to join buildings on either side of the river. At any rate, more research is needed.
I checked out some old aerial imagery. It looks like there used to be a spur line that curved off the adjacent rail line and crossed the river to serve a factory on Water Street.
I couldn't see any time that it was used for road use though, so I can't speculate as to when or why it was paved over.
Interesting structure Dave thanks for finding, YOU ROCK DUDE!
Art think you deserve a YOU ROCK DUDE! Great research! Thanks for sharing.
Very interesting find here...it indeed looks like a bridge built of the Douglas patent. I have seen occasional mention of Corrugated Metal Co. building a few spans based on the Elliptical truss patent, but these bridges were quite crude and did not hold up well (no doubt owing to some of the design faults visible in the patent drawings, note that the diagonals are sloping in the wrong direction!). It was only when the Yale educated engineer Charles Jarvis was brought in that the design was refined (adding counters to each panel and smoothing out the upper and lower chords) to create the lenticular truss we know.
I'd opt for referring to it as an Elliptical Truss though, just to highlight the difference between this bridge and the extant lenticular trusses that remain today.
The drought is over; Colebrook Lake is full, and The Harvey Mountain Road Bridge is submerged again. Sayonara.
You're welcome! Back then I had a Nikkormat that developed a focus problem at the end of its life. The trouble with film, of course, is that you can't see your pictures for a week or two while the film is out being developed. By then it is too late to re-shoot photos from a vacation or special trip. I like my Nikon D50 now.
Chester thanks! Drove through Waterbury in May of 79, didn't know this was so close. In 79 I was shooting with a Minolta Weathermatic 35DL. Still have can actually take pictures under water when canoe or kayacking. Still think 35mm takes better than digital
Greetings Chester, This was one of the coolest things I've seen on Bridgehunters. Glad to see it was nominated for An Othmar H. Ammann award!
I agree with Robert's comment as well.
I also agree with what Robert has stated here, and do apologize for whatever has happened in the past Chet. Anytime you have a wide-open forum like this one there will be an occasional "Anonymous fly in the ointment" if you will. I like to think that overall we have a good core of folks here that do try to help make this site better... And help one another as well!
Well. Thank you for all the positive comments. I did not intend to air old grievances, but to attempt to explain why I do not post on BH anymore. You are right, though; the website has gone through growing pains and has improved in many ways. I know there are others who stopped contributing as well, irritated and frustrated by a small minority. Frankly, I am surprised and pleased that my participation was noted and missed. Perhaps I need to re-think my decision. Again, thank you, Robert and Michael, for your encouragement.
I thoroughly second Roberts statement and request (In no small part because I couldn't do it myself so eloquently). Having joined this community just over 3 years ago now, I remember having a tough time with it for a while. Getting immediately corrected because you didn't know the difference between a Baltimore and Pennsylvania truss, or adding a bridge and having it immediately edited before completing it was incredibly frustrating.
But I agree that things have gotten better here, as the environment has certainly relaxed. For me it was a good time to come on-board here, as it gave me a strong view of what editorial high-mindedness can do and has contributed to my approach for my work here. I try not to judge though as I feel like we are all after the same thing; to build a complete, comprehensive, and accurate bridge site. Its the method by which we achieve this goal that matters though.
It's definitely a double edged sword with the system here where everyone can have editorial power with no strict guidelines on how things are to be set up. It allows us to grow and develop the community organically, and figure out what works. Of course with this (as with any online community) you can have Trolls and Zealots, who get an outsized power with the editorial control. It has its cons, but I'll take that any day versus a system with moderators and strict guidelines.
What I can say for absolute sure though is that we are poorer here on BH without your contributions and wonderful photos spanning several decades. Needless to say I miss the documentation you've done (especially with the Lenticulars, I sometimes hop over to LH just to look), and would love to see you back on this side.
Thanks Matt for posting this bridge.Being from southeastern Pa i am familiar with lakes when being built oftentimes structures will be submerged.I wouldn't doubt some of the man made lakes here in Pa have bridges underwater besides houses,trees and other interesting finds.
Stick to your guns, Mr. Gehman. Your work is too priceless for you to be subjected to the manipulation by the pains that another writer referred to. Some of them appear to still be very much active. The Landmark site hasn't been infested by them yet.
tl;dr: This website has experienced some growing pains over the years, but it has come out stronger. I hope that our former contributors will return.
I hope that you will return to posting. I won't rehash old history, but there were a few flame wars on this website a few years ago. I have to confess that I finally exploded after constant provocation by the the Half Star Bandit. I took the bait when I shouldn't have.
In retrospect, the website was going through some growing pains at the time. Topics such as railroad names, inclusion of MOBs, mid-20th Century concrete slabs, nice looking modern bridges, non-descript old bridges, etc, all had to be discussed. Over time, I think that we were finally able to work out solutions that improved the website.
Many of us Bridgehunters are very passionate about "our" bridges. We have all driven way out of our way down many a dirt road, sometimes nearly getting stuck, only to find that the 1880s pony truss we wanted to document has been replaced by a shiny concrete slab. Many of us have driven out of our way only to find an empty gap over the river. We have seen people cheer when our favorite cantilever was blown to smithereens. We have seen some older trusses neglected only to become fish habitat when they finally collapsed. Such frustration can easily manifest itself in the forum.
Yet, at the same time, we also realize that state historical societies, DOTs, engineers, and children visit this website. This, we can really do society, and historic bridges, a favor by encouraging quality discussions. It is going to take all of us to change perceptions in this country regarding the value of historic bridges.
My home state of Kansas has neither covered bridges, nor monumental suspension bridges. Thus, we lack the two types of bridges that Americans seem to care about. Yet, Kansas has some Bowstrings, wrought iron Pratt trusses,a variety of other truss types, Marsh arches, stone arches, and other designs that have great historic value. I learned to study and appreciate these overlooked bridges at a young age. It is my hope that these types of bridges nationwide will receive the preservation priority that they deserve. But, we must start by informing the public of their value. We all have a role to fill.
Once in a Life time find Chet! Thank you !
I used to post to BridgeHunter, but deleted all my photos because I felt I was badly treated by some members. I will make an exception in this case, but I generally only post on LandmarkHunter now.
I wasn't sure if Chester has an account, so I took the liberty of adding. This is a great find! We may have to get James (or someone who knows how) to move his photo to the page, if Chester would allow.
Reportedly the bridge was removed several years ago but stored on dry land near the town offices. This still doesn't specify if the bridge was actually scrapped.
Wikipedia mentions that this bridge was removed from the National Register listing in February of this year... Not sure what that means toward the disposition or if it is still in storage here.
Bridge has been removed
Looks like the town is looking to repair or replace this bridge in the near future:
The good news is that in any of the 3 scenarios they intend to retain/preserve this bridge. Of course, "preserved" means different things to different people, so we'll have to wait and see whats proposed to determine how well the plans cater to the needs of this historic span. Right now the bridge retains a very good amount of historic integrity, with the truss and floorbeams fully intact. Hopefully any future plans will maintain this.
Has been replaced with a 10' x 8' segmental precast RC box culvert since last in-depth inspection in 2013 :(
Don't know if you take any pictures?