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Falls Bridge

Photos 

Stevens Bridge

Looking west at tidal basin outflow

Photo taken by Craig Philpott in October 2009

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BH Photo #147988

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Rainbow arch bridge over Tidal Basin on ME 175/ME 3 in Blue Hill
Location
Hancock County, Maine
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Maine is conducting a study to determine how to improve this bridge. Options range from minor rehab to demolition and replacement.
History
Built 1926
Design
Concrete through arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 100.1 ft.
Total length: 113.9 ft.
Deck width: 20.3 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.2 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Stevens Bridge
Tidal Basin Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.37444, -68.55972   (decimal degrees)
44°22'28" N, 68°33'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/535076/4913557 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Brooklin
Inventory numbers
ME 5038 (Maine bridge number)
BH 19857 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 01/2016)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 35.5 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
1,730

Update Log 

  • January 3, 2015: New photos from Jack Schmidt
  • September 8, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge's future is now uncertain.
  • April 13, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • October 20, 2009: Updated by Craig Philpott: added photos and alternate name

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Falls Bridge
Posted November 14, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Research continuing but a picture in the article Shows the prior bridge; a lenticular truss!

http://weeklypacket.com/news/2014/nov/13/mdot-outlines-issue...

Falls Bridge
Posted May 6, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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-...

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.

Falls Bridge
Posted September 8, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

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.

Falls Bridge
Posted September 8, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.