I was reading through articles in the archives at a library. An engineer quoted said bridges would/should last 100 years. This was c. 1955. It would appear standards and opinions have changed since then.
This extremely significant David Steinman suspension bridge's spans have all been demolished. All that remains are the towers and substructure. This bridge was only allowed to stand for a mere 82 years, a fraction of the bridge's potential life, especially as a potential pedestrian bridge. Shame On Maine!
The bridge has been demolished and is gone.
Sadly, the bridge is being dismantled. (01/20/13)
I drove by there last week (12/16/12) and the old bridge was closed and the new bridge was open. Today (12/24/12)I've got to stop by and take a bunch of pictures of it before it goes away.
Yes, I was surprised to learn this as well. The fact is documented in the state context portion of the state historic bridge inventory. The irony is that right next to Maine in New Hampshire one can find a cast iron 1880s bridge, and an 1880s pin-connected lenticular truss, as a couple examples.
That is a stunning statistic! You would think that Maine would have a large collection of pin-connected trusses as it is on the East Coast (ie large population in the mid-late 19th century), and has lots of rivers and coastal inlets.
To clarify the significance of this bridge this is listed as the only remaining pin-connected thru truss highway bridge in the entire state!
It is so sad to see this bridge is on its way out too. I used to take grandmother to Acadia National Park and went over this bridge, so many of these bridges are tied to memories involving childhood and grandparents and I am saddened that future generations won't have the experience of crossing bridges such as this one.
The Bonny Eagle Bridge will be replaced.
did two die building that bridge some one told me to people die
This bridge has an observation deck at the top of one of its towers.
There's news about the bridge. Link below.
This bridge was replaced.
I have to side with Craig on this one. The new bridge does pay some respect to the historic value of the previous bridge. While the modern arch designs are never as ornate or attractive as the bridges of the 20ís and 30ís, they do provide a modern elegance that is not shown in typical design.
While I would have loved to see the old structure rehabilitated or left in place, replacement was the path chosen. I feel the modern arch is a much better alternative than an entirely pre-stressed girder bridge or some post-tension box structure. I imagine in a hundred years the next generation of bridge enthusiast will be excited about the new tied arch structure just as we are about the old one.
I always try to look at these types of structures in regards to their place in history. If the designers of the past would not have utilized their new technology and left or just replaced every timber truss and trestle we would have never gotten the elegant concrete arches of the 20ís and 30ís. If the modern designers do not implement new technology in their designs our ability to create and innovate becomes stagnant.
My hierarchy of preferable historic bridge projects
2. Leave in place as a pedestrian bridge and realign onto a new design that pay tribute to the former.
3. Recycle the old bridge in a new location (if possible)
4. Replace with a modern design that pays tribute to the former.
I respectfully disagree with the comment that the new bridge shows "no" respect for the previous historical bridge. Clearly the new bridge does show a level of historical reference in the design of the visible through truss design. Knowing nothing of the geography of the location, leaving the old bridge intact may or may not have been an option in this case, I do not know.
I fail to see how a modern single span arch bridge with cable suspenders and pre-stressed AASHTO girder approach spans shows anything but a complete ignorance for the historic value of the multi-span concrete rainbow arch structure that was demolished. Maybe the modern bridge is "attractive" for a modern bridge, but it offers no level of interpretation or understanding of the historic bridge it replaced.
Sounds like someone works for MDOT
The MaineDOT took great care in maintaining the historical significance of the Norridgewock Bridge. Your comment about our constructing an ordinary bridge to replace the historical 1928 tied arch bridge is inaccurate. See attached photo of the new structure.
I assume this bridge is classified as a Baltimore by HAER--I believe that it is rather a subdivided Warren truss, as you can trace the main diagonals without lifting your finger.
Road portion of the bridge was closed April 6, due to an accident(car hit one of the steel support rods). inspected July 11th, and found extensive repairs are necessary. MDOT does not have the funding for repairs. So the road portion closed until further notice. Railroad section is unaffected and remains opened.
The Maine Historic Bridge Slaughter continues... http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article/164258/2/Historic-Kenduskeag-Bridge-coming-down
Here is a big surprise. Maine DOT came out and declared their preferred solution is to demolish this extremely rare historic bridge. http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/05/06/news/hancock/mdot-eyes-replacement-of-falls-bridge-in-blue-hill/?ref=latest
Typical nonsense in the article, like claims a repair will only last 15 years. Unless the repair is to spit on the bridge and call it good, I don't know how even a poorly planned repair project could be so ineffective. They probably hired a consultant with no preservation experience but extensive new bridge experience. Like having a brain surgeon do quadruple heart bypass. Two completely different things. This is further suggested by claim new bridge would last 85-100 years. If they do build a new bridge, the DOT can let us know how that 85 year life thing is working 25 years after the bridge is built. Good luck with that. Maybe they get 50 years if it never snows in Maine. But last time I checked, it does occasionally snow in Maine during the winter.
Part of me wants to contact the DOT and try to work with them to convince them of the value of the bridge and find an effective rehab method that saves tax dollars and preserves this heritage for decades to come. But is it really worth the effort? They already demolished a nationally significant multi-span rainbow arch, one of the finest in the country. They are supporting demo of two different National Register Eligible state line vertical lift bridges all as part of one project. There aren't hardly any historic bridges left in the state. Why not let them go ahead and demolish every historic bridge in the state and earn the distinction of being the only state in the northeastern USA to have a historic bridge population comparable to Nevada, which is NOT a compliment.
I have been looking for pictures for along time.My children and I spent alot of happy times there,would it be possible to print these/I would like to hang them on the wall
This is funny JP, almost a running theme...
We restored this bridge in '04
I'll put up some additional information and photos
I love these 2 pictures. A 1901 construction date, this thing looks like a tank, it could last another 100+ years.
I had read that this pedestrian bridge was installed by a mill to permit their workers easy access from their homes across the Androscoggin in Topsham to work.
Attached is the Historic American Engineering Record Data Pages for this bridge, provided by Maine. Library of Congress has not yet added this HAER documentation to the HAER website. Its only been a mere three years since it was submitted after all...
View attachment #1 (PDF document, version 1.2, 5926790 bytes)
I found out this bridge was locally called the Covered Bridge because the former bridge was a covered bridge. People were used to calling it that I guess, and it stuck around for the next century as well.
Funny...... It doesn't look like a covered bridge!
This is the website for the project:
Yet another large, beautiful, historic bridge that could easily be rehabilitated instead being torn down by Maine.
This is very disappointing news indeed. I visited this bridge just a year ago and there is nothing structurally visibly wrong. It does not meet current width standards or sidewalk standards but to replace it with a UCB is a travesty.
A study to determine a preferred alternative to improve this crossing is underway. Even though there is nothing wrong with this bridge, Maine will probably demolish and replace this bridge.
Looking at this bridge, one might think this bridge is too amazing and historic to be replaced. However Maine demolished one of the largest rainbow arch bridges in the country a couple years ago, demonstrating the level of commitment this state has to historic bridges, even those of national significance.
I failed to comment on the photo's for months. No secret, drive to the Fort Knox park entrance, pay small fee and ride the elevator up to top South tower of new bridge where there is a viewing room.
Visited this bridge and others in NE states in Sept, 2009. This is a very beautiful covered bridge. We spent quite some time at this location before reluctantly moving on.
Mr. Holth mentions an important point in his earlier post. Listing on the NRHP does not guarantee that a bridge, or other structure will not get demolished. In theory, the structure is preserved as long as there is a reasonable and prudent alternative to demolition. This is subjective however. For example, one county or state might be willing to build a new bridge on a new alignment to avoid demolition, and a neighboring jurisdiction may not consider that to be a reasonable or prudent alternative.
I thought of that right away, too, although I think my pole mounted camera is JUST a few hundred feet short of taking photos like Craig's.
Whatever happened to that camera mounted to a GIANT pole that you used to have? Some of these photos put me in mind of that........did you ever patent that thing??
I also want to know about this so-called "viewing platform" mentioned here!
Also, to respond to the comment further down, it is EXTREMELY EASY to tear down any bridge or structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hundreds if not thousands of historic bridge listed on the National Register have been demolished. The National Register does not prevent demolition... all it does is require Section 106 and Section 4(f) to take place if federal involvement exists.
Alright Craig, 'fess up. We all want to know, how did you get those wonderful photos? That "viewing platform" isn't open to the public, is it?
I thought they couldn't tear buildings or structures down that were posted to the National Register of Historic Places.
That's how I understood it. If it's on the NRHP, then it makes no sense to demolish it.
I just looked at the pictures of the new bridge and it sticks out like a sore thumb. We have to start maintaining these old bridges BEFORE they need torn down.
This bridge replaced the "Million Dollar Bridge" which was also a bascule bridge.
Too bad they have to demolish such a magnificent bridge. I would think that they would make something of a park out of it for pedestrians.
When will the Androscoggin River Bridge(#3334) will be replace with a new brige.Nick