Plaque on 1913 truss bridge over west branch of Westfield River by Berlin Bridge Company
I come by here every day at the same time almost in this bridge is always being opened what is going on Sitting here for 10 minutes in the bridge still has decided to close to not see any boats Find hard to believe every day at the same time every day very strange
Very good news. This is a rare type and should be out where it can be viewed and used.
i purchased the bridge-remains from the town and i am working with engineers to re-erect it as an ADA compliant walkway to a rebuilt church on main street. it is being stored at the dump, although people here don't like that word. it should be moved to its final location on main street where it can be visited before winter 2018.
Where is the Section 106 documentation as required by federal law indicating that all feasible and prudent alternatives to adverse effect have been considered? To my knowledge this has not been completed. Thus the below referenced clarification article is important... all these efforts as near as I understand are meaningless under the law.
My proposal for renaming the new bridge: http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/20...
Clarification on recent Greenfield Recorder article. http://www.recorder.com/Letter-to-the-Editor-Clarifying-brid...
Replacement span design chosen. A modern arch bridge. http://www.recorder.com/Schell-Bridge-design-decision-175034...
Drove by this bridge recently. It appears to be under renovation to become a pedestrian bridge.
Wow just unbelievable! It seems that stupidity and the 21st century go hand in hand. You would think that preservation of these rare beautiful and historic structures would be almost mandatory with so many thousands of historic structures lost over the years.
I thought we were discussing whether a bridge existed at the present location of the pipeline.
My take is that some kind of lightweight bridge may have existed there, some of the old maps suggest this.
I think the machinery there may be a sluice gate for the Champion Paper plant, not a part of the lock system itself, or for a moveable bridge. Probably water was taken from the canal here for the paper company's equipment and then discharged into the Spicket River.
The postcard bridge has now been correctly located, so here's a link to a picture:
I see Luke has added the HAER documented Spicket River bridge, which I assume is where the water was discharged from the paper mill. There's some interesting stuff to be found here.
Having some of the facts straight and hopefully a photo before creating an entry on the site is kinda important.
If you don't have much info, put it up for discussion before presenting it as fact, and keep on bridge hunting.
Yes, it's clear that everyone makes mistakes.
Now, it's all about how we handle those mistakes.
You can admit the error (I've got a postcard that says Atlantic, and the one that I uploaded that says American. Very easy mistake to make. I'll split the Amesbury line link off later.), or you can get defensive and act petulant about being called out on being wrong/not fact checking.
FWIW the 1906 map shows American Mills being at Amesbury, and the book cited mentions the line the bridge was on crossing the Merrimack where the Central/Casey Bridge now stands.
Don't leave Amanda, keep putting them up, doing research, making duplicates because you're so excited to make a discovery. Action Amanda. Refreshing. Even if some details are wrong there is no reason to bash someones research.
Because that research isn't always correct and there is always room for honest debate, not what went on here.
Speaking of fact-checking information, whoever placed the location balloon in this map certainly did not do that either...the correct location is just east of the Broadway Bridge, over 1/4 mile west of where the balloon was initially placed. I've taken the liberty of correcting it. Evidence of this is right in the entry photo. The long 2-story building immediately to the right of the bridge is still extant, as is the 7-story building on the left side of the photo (across the street). The tall stack in the center of the photo is also still there, albeit much shorter than it shows in the photo. The taller building behind the 2-story building no longer exists. I went to the GE streetview to where I thought the photo might have been taken from, and all 3 abutments for this old bridge are clearly visible in the satellite view. The two southern abutments are also clearly visible in the street view, as are the buildings.
As for the original bridge that started this thread, it looks to be a catwalk over the original eastern lock, which has long since been removed. The hinge assembly for the northern lock gate appears to be still intact, directly under the catwalk. The other lock was at the west end; the channel is still intact (under the Broadway Bridge). So now it's clear that we all make mistakes.
You ALWAYS fact check information. It doesn't matter whether it's coming from a local, your mother, your priest, the president, or James Baughn himself.
Landowners told John Marvig this was a drawbridge: https://bridgehunter.com/mn/brown/cnw-cottonwood-river/
Locals call this a "Civil War triple bridge" despite it being built in 1886 (21 years after the end of the Civil War.) and only having two arches: https://bridgehunter.com/ia/louisa/stone-arch/
You. Always. Fact. Check. Information.
If I (and John Marvig, who is attending the same uni I attended) had to take a required course university course on fact checking and source citing, it means this stuff matters.
Even the HAER fact checked and cited their sources.
People like you who believe anything they're told wholesale without fact checking are why measles are making a comeback.
There's no evidence of a railroad bridge there on 1906 map or in 1938 aerial imagery. So yes, the "Island Avenue Bascule Bridge removed in 1978" is in fact a nonexistent railroad bridge.
As for false information, I've provided links to historic aerial imagery and maps that provide this thing called "evidence". Remind me what evidence you've shown? I can only recall some meaningless "appeal to authority" logical fallacies regarding locals.
And the blame does lay with you, as it was you who didn't bother to do any fact checking any of the locals claims.
This bridge is a fix truss bridge it does not have no machinery a little rectangle on the lower on this truss bridge a birds eye view is a x truss nothing to do with a machinery its not there, no mechanism just a x truss.
Hopefully there's a edit post button in BH 3.0.
Here's info about that test station.
there is also a bridge on the Spicket just north of the area in that old map. 1944 topo shows a line similar to what might indicate light rail crossing both structures.
It's apparently not a part of the lock system. The guard lock is way on the west end and the 3 descending locks were in a channel just to the side of the waste spillway. That channel is now filled in with dirt.
The 1906 atlas does seem show a bridge there, but it must have been a very light pedestrian bridge or maybe a small tram bridge for the light duty winch equipment seen in streetview to have lifted it for boat passage.
Maybe that winch is for water control to some underground piping though.
Water for the paper pulp mill in 1906? Maybe for use if the Spicket is low? Maybe wastewater from the paper mill?
State Board of Health experiment station south on the path from this structure? With a pipe from the descending locks. Maybe a supply for drinking water?
It's likely that there was a bridge, even if only pedestrian. The challenge is now to document it properly.
Maybe these folks could help:
Historical maps show a road bridge, can't find any info aside from that: http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/11776/Plate+003/Lawre...
However, your original entry was for a supposed railroad bascule, and considering the facts given by said map, aforementioned aerial imagery, and the "machinery" not being tall enough for rolling stock with no evidence of a berm, nip that idea in the bud.
Here is a picture of the bridge
What is there is the remains of a lock system (More relevant to sister site Landmarkhunter than to here.) and a pipeline bracketed by two I-beams that doesn't really warrant an entry.
Better to change an entry for nothing into an entry for something
The chain link fencing on the catwalk is a more recent addition (80s). Not that any kids went over the edge in the 70s, LOL.
The 1954 replacement for this is a pretty plain slab on beam structure whose only note worthy features are the busts of the Mohawk Indian on the abutment.
Apparently this bridge was considered to be an attractive nuisance. Unfortunately, attractive nuisance laws could easily be used against historic bridges.
You are welcome. Looks like you've got it.
Thanks Chet. Loci Correct?
The bridge in the aerial imagery is far too narrow to serve a railroad. Furthermore the 1944 topo shows the only railroad bridge in the vicinity being farther westward.
Here's its BH entry: https://bridgehunter.com/ma/essex/bh58790/
From the looks of it, you photographed remains of a lock. You should probably post those on Landmarkhunter, as IIRC the whole area's a historic district.
Historicaerials is a website. Plug in the GPS cords and you won't find a bridge.
Historicaerials shows no railroad bascule here in imagery from 1938 or 1963-66.
Some excellent commentary on the fate awaiting the Schell Bridge here. Maybe some of you should consider joining me in commentating following a Greenfield Recorder newspaper article. Save one article, my opposition to the replacement of this heritage span never made print even through I spoke passionately at public hearings...
All stake holders appear to be on board with this "done deal."
Bring "the war" to them, with opposition commentary following articles. . Like I have. Let dissident voices be heard too. Let the historical record show...
A former reporter.
It looks more like the bypass date is wrong. Checking with the topographical maps it shows this bridge as the crossing until the 1939 topo. In the 1941 topo the bridge is still indicated, but has been bypassed with the current alignment. It looks like the original bypass bridge was replaced in 1965. It would be correct then to indicate that this bridge was bypassed c. 1940
It therefore seems highly unlikely this structure saw any trolley service. From what I can tell the Amherst Sunderland Street Railway only came into existence in 1896, which is well after this bridge was fabricated. And given its light build it doesn't seem suited for trolley service (and would also explain the earlier bypass date).
Here's a nice history of the trolley system:
1962 aerial imagery seems to corroborate that.
I believe this bridge was part of the right of way of the Amherst street railway. I drove over the rt 116 bridge often in 1964 and if a bridge was replaced it was not this one. RT 116 never had a narrow one lane ultra light bridge. The troley barn was .5 miles away. I could never find a map of Amherst St. railway or other information but I went by there from the early 1950s with my parents to the present and this was never a road bridge.
I'm contacting anyone who would have some kind of authority to oversee citizens safety while driving or walking around the Wachusett Aqueduct Bridge.
I'm a Northborough resident and drive under this bridge everyday, I've been almost crashed so many times because drivers come at full speed crossing the midline right under the bridge. We need to take precautions in order to save innocent lives. My recommendations would be to build "speed bumps" specially before the bridge, southbound.
Bridge is closed for rehabilitation. Detour River Road.
This bridge was replaced and re-opened on September 29, 2017. See Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/groups/178690492200738/permalink/14...
Not as noteworthy as some but was intrigued by name Lake Chaubunagungamaug
Townsfolk got their options for what kind of boring prefabricated bridge they want to replace the historic bridge...Looks like they want an arch bridge:
Missing is option #9 to recognize the historic value of this bridge and to rehabilitate and preserve it.
Monies for replacement.
I kind of figured the present 1954 Woods Memorial bridge replaced the previous 1906 Scherzer bascule bridge.
Douglas, there's a concrete arch at this location, and you're on the Mystic River when the bridge is over the Malden River, which is further east.
This probably was the predecessor to the Woods Memorial Bridge.
Good job on finding more Scherzer brochure images, though.
The roadway was given a fresh gravel/bitumen surface in 2016. I don't believe the existing 2013 surface was stripped off first.
Does anyone know the name of the builder of the NECR / Central Vermont RR bridge over the Sawmill River in Leverett or if plans of this and other Warren Truss Deck Rail Road bridges built in Franklin County, Massachusetts in the first decades of the 20th century exist? These bridges exist on the CV RR and the Boston and Maine (now Panamerican RR) Fitchburg division.
These bridges seem to have all been built in the same era and are very similar design.
Three more photos from September 28th
These are the September 28th photos
This bridge was closed to traffic in September 2016 and is being replaced by a fill. The road will be lowered a little and fill ramps installed each side to carry the Quinebaug Rail Trail up to road level. The rail bed has now been cleared all the way through Dudley from the CT state line to the French River.
Photos taken last September 28th and this April 3rd are attached.
The bridge is in its final stages of construct. The lift mechanism is functional and work on the new bridge roadway approaches to connect with the old bridge are on the fast track. All lanes will open in October 2017. Demo of the temporary bridge and completion of dolphins will continue into mid 2018.
Well, its probably something to do with both of us having an affinity for the lenticular bridges :) The second I saw a notation of a lost Lenticular bridge on the successor bridge page I started looking for any info on it...looks like we came to the same sources!
Who would have thought two people would post the same LOST bridge within minutes of each other! And I have the same photo, too. Well, I will delete my entry.
Its a long time, but we can still be optimistic. We've had a Leneticular pony up here in VT has been in storage for 21 years now, but we are on schedule to have it reused on a pedestrian path within the next 3 years. Hope they can find a home for this one sooner!
Rumours are these trusses will be used somewhere-sometime but they have been at the Great Barrington Recycle Center for at least ten years--maybe more. These photos I took a couple of years ago.
Found the saved trusses of this bridge. Looks like they are at an old town dump:
Its a tough call as it is a pretty generic plate design, but I'd be inclined to go with RF Hawkins just as they were a larger fabricator, and the design looks similar to this one that UMass Amherst has, although I wish there were better pictures:
Thanks for going back for the plaque Chester!
This is a photo of the only remaining plaque on the bridge. "Springfield" "Mass" and "1891" are fairly obvious. Can anyone identify the builder? The R.F.Hawkins Iron Works and The Springfield Iron Works come to mind. A better view of the shape of the plaque is in the MACRIS photo. Any ideas?
Although somewhat common on ponies, through truss spans with plaques on the railings are an unusual sight Chester. At least you did catch that partial shot with the builder!
These old eyes of mine must be failing. Both my wife and I were on that bridge and didn't see that plaque. We looked on the end posts and the portal area but failed to look down. Can't say I've ever seen a Berlin through truss plaque that low. Even had it in my camera lens! A slightly lower shot might have revealed a build date. Sorry, guys. I'll get it next time.
Zoomed in it shows that it is a Berlin plaque.
In the last picture you can see a builders plate attached to the railing. If my eyes aren't deceiving me that's Berlin Construction Co., which would match for its location and style.
Chester did you happen to get a picture of it? I'm curious what year this one is!
The link provided says construction is scheduled to begin Sept 2017 and take 4 years.
Have this new rail drawbridge replaced this Strauss bascule bridge or this new bridge was never built!!!!!
Another bridge I wish I had a time machine for. Its so fascinating how utilitarian is is in comparison to its rural surroundings. And there are several unique design details that make it quite different from remaining examples of this type.
Thanks for uploading Chester! Its cool to see it in color :)
Dana and Kay:
Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated.
Chester it is so significant to history that you captured these Bridges! I see this one was gone two years later! THANK YOU!
Hopefully the builders plates were recovered by a state agency for storage and not stolen. It was the only Berlin Construction plates in a shield style I had ever seen and were pretty cool.
Needless to say though it'd be more preferable that they remained on this unique pony truss and the bridge was lovingly rehabilitated for continued use.
Bridge is closed; builder's plaques removed/stolen; replacement probable.
Thanks Chester, glad you where there 3 years before replacement Really adds value to the site!
It will be a real shame if this historic bridge is lost in the rising waters of Phelps Brook. One of only three pipe bridges built by Charles Ball of Windsor, MA still in existence, and the only one not preserved in some way. Come on, Windsor! Charlie Ball was a native son!
According to the duxburyfile item referenced under Sources, the bridge in whole was found to be in poor condition at the time of fire damage repair, So the entire bridge was rebuilt bigger and better with new wood more suitable to the wet conditions.
Bridge was in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest and longest wooden bridge in the world, until it was damaged by fire and completely rebuilt in 1986."
Wrong. Bridge was partially damaged by fire but only partially. A small section. Bridge was closed throughout 1986.
Chester nice shots ! WELCOME BACK.
I was surprised that this neat little bridge wasn't already in the database. Visiting Lowell a few days ago, I was even more surprised (disappointed?) that it is being replaced.
Photo 7 , Movie rail Design
This bridge is being replaced over the weekend of November 4-6, 2016.
In November 1916 a streetcar went off this partially opened bridge, killing 46 people.
Story includes animation of the unusual way the bridge opens.
I can't think of one off the top of my head. Back in the day, some Trucker Atlases listed heights on truck routes. The NBI sometimes lists dimensions, but I would not take it as Gospel as it does contain the occasional error.
Is there a database of bridge heights?
Thanks in advance for the help.
This plaque from the same year showed up on ebay. The seller claims it came from this actual bridge. I cannot confirm that myself. www.ebay.com/itm/1893-Hammond-Street-Pony-Truss-Bridge-Newto...
They are no longer a friends group! God bless the people who want to save the historic bridges!
Monetary value is probably small.
If they are clean and visually interesting, individual pages could be scanned, resized, and reproduced as art prints.
It's likely that an historical society, harbor museum, or library would want to preserve the originals for future study.
I have the original blue prints for this bridge, is there any value to them?
The fact that they call themselves a "Friends" group is rather pathetic at this point!
As always, kudos to Mr. Baslee for the continued use of his "Award winning" photo!
New article from back in June that I just noticed.
1. Article is callous to the extreme (or even hostile) towards historic bridges.
2. The nearby General Pierce bridge (a beautiful, and somewhat later, example of a multi-span Pennsylvania truss) should now be considered under threat.
3. Apparently using state funding appropriated for "Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement" to demolish a historic bridge in rural Northern Massachusetts that hasn't been open for 30+ years is acceptable.
And my favorite:
“Oh my God! I hope I live that long,” said Jennifer Tufts, former president of Friends of the Schell Bridge when she was told the news. “It’s thrilling news. I’m very hopeful this project will move forward at last.”
....The person who was *president* of a group that was meant to *save* the historic truss bridge thinks that its "thrilling" that the bridge will be replaced "at last".
That's some good friends this bridge has
I just returned from a trip to the East Coast. During a visit to Boston, I visited the Public Garden and walked across the bridge. It's such a charming little thing.
Is that a Bailey Bascule Bridge???
But Nathan... Don't you know by now that you can slap a roof and siding on any bridge and have something special?! ;-)
Patrick... who told you this bridge was historic? Or were you thinking that because its shown on this website? A listing on BridgeHunter.com does not imply any official historic designation. Many non-historic bridges are listed on this website. This bridge is most certainly not historic.
I am curious to know why the Creamery bridge is designated as a historic bridge being built in 1985? Was this a replacement of a previous bridge? The Gilbertville Covered Bridge has history going back to the late 1800's and is not listed as being on the historic register. Just asking why?
Railroad bridge has been demolished last piles were removed today
Referenced in Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way March 1914 Page 120.
I do want to note also that MassDOT's proposed replacement of this bridge not only will use federal funding, it may require an Army Corps permit as well. Either aspect federal involvement is sufficient to trigger a Section 106 Review. As such, MassDOT will face the burden of demonstrating that there is no feasible and prudent alternative to replacement that avoids or minimizes adverse effect to this historic bridge. It is my opinion that rehabilitation, potentially with in-kind riveted replacement of substantial portions of the bridge would meet a project Purpose and Need while avoiding or minimizing adverse effect. I look forward to participating in this Section 106 Review and providing input and comment onto the detailed Alternatives Analysis that it is my expectation will be a part of this review. Further, if the outcome of Section 106 is an adverse effect such as demolition it is my expectation that very extensive mitigation will be required of a bridge of such unique design and high historic significance.
You found the correct bridge Nathan that is often cited as having drawn reference from the Schell bridge...I agree with you in that I don't see the resemblance that others tout either. The vague curvature of the upper chord is enough to sell other people apparently...
Having the luxury of visited both bridges makes this whole affair even worse for me, as I've enjoyed the beauty of the Schell bridge and seen the bland, boring future that awaits it. Even if they throw some of the portal elements on it, a welded modern bridge will never compare with the beautifully complex geometry of a completely unique riveted cantilevered Pennsylvania truss with built up members. Its going to be a truly devastating loss
There is no replacement that compare to this iconic span... They might as well just implode it and buy an MOB.
100 Million for a new bridge!?!...
The Mayor has more of the Taxpayers money than he has common sense!!!
A contest to determine what will replace this bridge? Here is an award winning idea. Restore the bridge parts that were put in storage and install those back in place and reopen the bridge. This is a great idea because it what they claimed they were going to do. Then Boston can get a "We Didn't Lie To Taxpayers" award.
Steve (or anyone)... I have heard a lot of talk about some bridge in Keene, NH that supposedly is inspired by the Schell Bridge. However, when I search for this bridge I don't get a lot of results... the only bridge I can find referenced as the "Keene North Bridge" is this three-span welded bridge over Highway 9 as shown in this street view:
However this bridge bears no resemblance of any kind to the Schell Bridge aside from the fact that its made of metal, its rusty, and the center span has a curved top chord. Curved top chords are standard for any modern prefab truss bridge with a span of this length, and not custom/special in any way).
I continue to believe that people are being severely misled by MassDOT with claims that a replacement bridge would look even remotely like the historic Schell Bridge.
Perhaps my opinion of pedestrian overpasses is clouded by my recent life-changing experience of beholding in person the awe-inspiring beauty of Indiana's Freedom Bridge soaring over IN-25, but I find this bridge in Keene over Highway 9 to be little more than a run of the mill modern weathering steel welded pedestrian truss bridge.