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.
Perhaps, facing criticism from editorialists and preservationist over the dismemberment of the nearby Northern Avenue Bridge, the Boston Redevelopment Authority...
While the replacement span, partially inspired by Keene, NH's "North" bicycle bridge which was in and of itself inspired by the Schell, may incorporate some of the Schell's portal architectural elements, it will be a replacement.
After the recent dismantlement of Boston's Northern Avenue Bridge and Lowell's Textile Memorial Bridge, the loss of the Schell will be felt keenly for those who love iron and steel vintage trusses. The value of such spans never really caught on in New England outside of Vermont.
I visited today and found chocked up markings on this bridge. I checked online but did not immediately find any news on this bridge.
I suspect either someone was documenting this bridge or it was being cataloged for preservation and possibly replacement.
Future looking brighter: http://www.pressreader.com/usa/woonsocket-call/20160115/2814...
Dismantling is currently underway.
For such a big bridge, it doesn't look like it was connected to any major roads.
Status is active as this is the mainline from Boston to Portland and serves the MBTA Commuter Rail Haverhill line and Amtrak's Downeaster along with Pan AM Railways for freight between Portland and points west.
This line is being re-double-tracked after having been reduced to single track in the mid-1970s when the MBTA first took over the commuter rail service. With the increase in traffic, the second track is being added back in between Wilmington Jct. and Frye (Shawsheen Village).
Structure has been removed.
Slight chance of possible re-use:
No, the old span (this page) is set for demolition: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/whittierbridge/Home.aspx
My guess would be the flood of March, 1936 took out the prior bridge. One of the worst floods in the history of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Looks like it's been a footbridge since at least the 1940s; the road connection is severed in between the 1941 (1936 survey) and 1947 (1945 survey) topos.
The towers are built and electrical component installation and related items is ongoing. The center span is assembled and is awaiting installation. However, project completion has been delayed by design or manufacturing problems with lift mechanism components. Expected completion date now closer to 2017.
hi yes hello, i really love this bridge so very much. i have seen many bridges in my life however, i have never seen a bridge as great as this one. even though i live in california, i still cannot believe how great the bridge builders are in massachusetts
The northern half of this bridge was replaced in May with a bolted Parker truss; based on an upcoming commuter rail shutdown the southern half will probably be demolished next weekend.
NOTE: This isn't the "Charlestown High Bridge" the Charlestown Highbridge was torn down during the Big Dig and replaced by the Zakim. The Charlestown Highbridge carried Interstate 93 and US Route 1. It was also known as "Upper and Lower Deck" for those from the 1990s who used to listen to traffic reports.
This isn't the "Charlestown High Bridge" the Charlestown Highbridge was torn down during the Big Dig and replaced by the Zakim. The Charlestown Highbridge carried Interstate 93 and US Route 1. It was also known as "Upper and Lower Deck" for those from the 1990s who used to listen to traffic reports.
Stupid me.Just saw the video on msn again and in the video plain as day is the sign specifying the height of the bridge.The only suggestion I could make would be for a bigger sign but what good that would do I do not know.
I like the name of the lake!
With the photos I just uploaded, we now have pictures of all 5 versions of historic North Bridge since its pivotal role in the Revolutionary War in 1775:
1760: Photos 15, 17
1875: Photo 21
1898: Photos 2, 3, 4(best), 9, 12, 13
1909: Photos 10, 11
1956: Photos 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 16(best), 18, 19, 20
thanks anonymous.i didn't know there were signs posted.evidently the truck drivers are not paying attention to that and are paying the price having their trucks turned into open air trucks via the bridge.maybe they should post signs anyway to make the truckers aware.can't hurt.i only saw one trucker on the video who actually stopped before the truck eating bridge.
There's a sign well before the bridge so that trucks that know that they're over the height limit can actually stop before slamming into the bridge.
this notoriously famous bridge I just saw a video of on msn.the video was from reuters.funny how they don't post height signs on this bridge like they do in pa.
Being replaced this weekend as part of the Fitchburg Line upgrade project.
Another truck claimed: http://www.universalhub.com/2015/excellence-storrowing-westw...
This bridge is open. Not all bridges are in the NBI.
Agreed, I think I remember catching this when trawling through the MHC listings a while back (the listing for this bridge also has the incorrect photo shown here). There is an entry for the other East Street Bridge here: http://bridgehunter.com/ma/norfolk/bh66599/. That entry does have a correct photo, so it isn't a perfect switch. Definitely an understandable switch though, given that it's two crossings of the same street by the same railroad within a short distance.
Actually, the b&w photo on this page (MBTA - East Street Overpass) is of a different bridge over East Street in Dedham. East Street curves through Dedham and enters Westwood at the 128/95 rotary (exit 14) and then heads toward Islington. The bridge in the video is over East Street in Westwood, just outside the Islington stop. The Dedham one is outside the 128/Dedham Corporate Center. It's easy to confuse them if you're not familiar with the area.
The Westwood bridge is only 10'6" and catches a truck at least once a month. It was also the scene of a fatal car accident as the high sidewalk curb causes cars that hit the curb to bounce off and careen in the on-coming lane. Also cars have slammed into the stone wall on the opposite side because of the narrowness of the roadway. The other East Street bridge is 12' and doesn't have the same problem.
Looks like construction is taking longer than expected: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/07/28/longfellow-bridg...
A pretty interesting design- while a quick glance would classify this as a concrete rigid frame bridge, closer inspection reveals that the bridge is actually a steel arch structure. The outer two arches are faced with concrete, likely out of aesthetic preference.
To offer an explanation for why the truss is not load-bearing (and why the deck construction is so heavy), I recall reading that MassDOT requires bike paths to be accessible to emergency vehicles, which would require the bridges to be capable of supporting more than just pedestrian and bike traffic. This would be particularly true in this case where the stretch of path between this bridge and the Diversion Channel bridge is inaccessible by road. Additionally, I'm fairly sure that this stretch of path was built as part of the MA 146 reconstruction, which might explain the use of highway standards in the construction. To be fair, I have not read any fine print on this, but if true this could explain why the bridge appears to be overkill for a bike path.
Check out LeedsCivic.org for more photos and information. Check out how the City of Northampton and groups like LCA are working together. There is a video link there to the city television station who did a great job of documenting this important meeting. As a side note they have met and voted to let us continue to look at the process given their site conditions. More, as always, will be revealed.
Tony: the same sort of discussion can be found with the concrete McMillin Bridge: http://bridgehunter.com/wa/pierce/mcmillin/
Both are essentially the same concept.
I think worthy arguments can be made for each. Depends whether you consider the bridge two separate through truss units with a roadway in between... or whether you consider it to be a two truss line unit.
Another bridge to consider is the L&N Bridge in Cinci (former Purple People Bridge)... although the two truss units are connected by bracing over the narrow central walkway, look at how minimal the overhead bracing/struts are for this central walkway... they almost could have configured the L&N bridge like the 11th Street Bridge if they wanted, with no bracing over that central walkway. http://historicbridges.org/ohio/purplepeople/pict1535.jpg
Since there are no struts or lateral bracing over the roadway of this bridge, one would be hard pressed not to deem it a pony truss.
Reopened to traffic after a four-year rehab: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/willimansett_...
Opps posted the wrong location this My photo is the Salmon Brook Arch. Same rail line.
The arches along this abandoned are great. Also great is the in this arch and The one in Westford show a bit of their construction site.
My father used to swim under this bridge when he was a boy (born 1918). My aunt also remembers this bridge from when she was a girl (born 1916). Does anyone know when the original bridge was built?
This bridge appears to have been the location for several outdoor scenes of the Robert Downey, Jr. / Robert Duvall film "The Judge" from 2014.
Looks like restoration might be proceeding: http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/ProjectInfo/Main.asp?ACTION=ViewP...
thanks art.from what I saw I knew that bridge met an unfortunate end being scrapped.since I live in pa.I will probably see a lot of truss bridges meet the same fate since money is short according to the federal government.
If you are restoring, yes. If you are scrapping, no. However, if you are scrapping, it's cheaper just to drag it to shore rather than lift it.
I have a question on this bridge which was evidently removed.they showed a crane ripping it apart.wouldn't it make sense to lift it off the supports and disassemble it piece by piece?
With that nasty MOB there now, this is the perfect place for a new Wal-Mart...
Here are some images of the lift; it came off cleanly with no damage. I still can't find the pictures of it resting, completely intact, on shore. Sadly, the cost of restoration would have been competitive with replacement. They are coming down faster than we can save them.
fine work on one of the oldest through trusses in the country
i found these fine examples of the restoration of this old bridge
This bridge was totally redone. The intersection changed and bears no relation to the old bridge. It was a pain. Took about 2 years.
This bridge is to be repainted and decked in 2015.