4 votes

Waldo-Hancock Bridge



Photo taken 1994 by Jet Lowe for the Historic American Engineering Record

BH Photo #103417

Street Views 

Link to article regarding new bridge construction 

Submitted by Craig Philpott



Demolished suspension bridge over Penobscot River on former US 1 in Prospect
Waldo County, Maine, and Hancock County, Maine
Demolished, despite not being in the way of anything.
Built 1931; bypassed by new bridge 2006-07; Demolished 2012-2013; Removed from NRHP 12-18-2013
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Contractor)
- David B. Steinman of New York, New York (Engineer)
- Holton D. Robinson of Massena, New York (Engineer)
- Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation of New York, New York (Contractor)
- Robinson & Steinman of New York, New York (Engineering Firm)
Wire suspension
Length of largest span: 799.9 ft.
Total length: 2,042.1 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 23.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 19.2 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.56033, -68.80167   (decimal degrees)
44°33'37" N, 68°48'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/515750/4934129 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2006)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 85001267 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
ME 3008 (Maine bridge number)
BH 19922 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2013)
Sufficiency rating: 11.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 12, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • April 15, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • June 18, 2020: New photo from Patrick Gurwell
  • June 18, 2020: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • October 19, 2014: New photos from Patrick S. O'Donnell
  • August 21, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Updated NRHP status: Removed
  • July 2, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • May 16, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished.
  • April 12, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • November 7, 2009: Essay added by Craig Philpott
  • October 21, 2009: Updated by C Hanchey: Bridge is still in place, but scheduled for demolition; added bridge builder
  • October 20, 2009: New photos from Craig Philpott
  • September 15, 2006: Posted HAER photos

Related Bridges 



Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 10, 2018, by Dan Styer (Dan [dot] Styer [at] oberlin [dot] edu)

These photos taken 19 July 1964 by Thomas W. Styer III (my father). The morning fog had only partially dissipated.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 6, 2017, by Brian J. Patterson (pattersonbj [at] earthlink [dot] net)

The REAL shame about the Waldo-Hancock Bridge was that the Maine DOT allowed it to quietly rot away for so many years. To even support its own dead weight, they would still have to have replaced both main suspension cables, because they didn't do the maintenance the bridge needed when it needed to be done. It IS sad, and hopefully they are no longer neglecting their remaining Robinson and Steinman bridges.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 23, 2013, by bendboy

What a waste. They could've made a pedestrian bridge, but nooooo! They demolish it without mercy. Jeezum.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted May 16, 2013, by K. A. Erickson

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted May 16, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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!

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted June 18, 2012, by John Goold (BlueWilliamus [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted January 27, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

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.


Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 8, 2009, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 7, 2009, by J.R. Manning (thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 7, 2009, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey J.R.

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??

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 7, 2009, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted November 7, 2009, by J.R. Manning (thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

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?

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted October 19, 2009, by Steven Rosenow (srosenow_98 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted December 13, 2008, by Nathan Fredrickson (nathan [at] silverorange [dot] com)

Attached are two photos I took in Feb 2008.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted September 22, 2008, by Ian A (macsignals [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Waldo-Hancock Bridge
Posted September 12, 2007, by Kevin MacNutt (egebamayasi [at] hotmail [dot] com)

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.