Rating:
9 votes

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Brian McKee in May 2010

Enlarge

BH Photo #171376

Map 

Street View 

Video 

Crossing the Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge

crossing from VT to NH

Video taken by Michael Quiet

Facts 

Overview
Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Connecticut River on NH 119 in Hinsdale
Location
Cheshire County, New Hampshire, and Windham County, Vermont
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
At risk for demolition and replacement.
History
Built 1920 by American Bridge Co.; Rehabilitated 1988
Builders
- American Bridge Co. of New York (fabricator)
- John Williams Storrs (design)
- United Construction Co. of Albany, New York (contractor)
Design
Pennsylvania through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 324.2 ft.
Total length: 338.9 ft.
Deck width: 20.3 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 11.5 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.85167, -72.55528   (decimal degrees)
42°51'06" N, 72°33'19" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/699748/4747242 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Brattleboro
Average daily traffic (as of 2013)
8,100
Inventory number
BH 24837 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2016)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 43.8 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 21, 2017: New video from Michael Quiet
  • June 17, 2015: New photos from Michael Quiet
  • February 20, 2014: New photo from Jack Schmidt
  • September 5, 2013: Updated by Dave King: Fixed name
  • May 21, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: At risk for demolition and replacement.
  • July 31, 2010: New Street View added by Cliff Darby
  • July 31, 2010: New photos from Brian McKee

Sources 

  • Brian McKee - bjmckee51 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Cliff Darby - clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net
  • Michael Quiet - mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted December 21, 2019, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Senator just visited the site. Project moving head with funding for new bridge, but also funds for existing heritage spans too.

End near for 'Malfunction Junction' in Hinsdale and Brattleboro?

By JAKE LAHUT Sentinel Staff Dec 21, 2019 Updated 6 hrs ago

Bridging the funding gap

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, left, walks through the snow Friday with N.H. Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan and DOT Director of Operations David Rodrigue after viewing the Hinsdale Route 119 bridges connecting Brattleboro.

HINSDALE — After years of waiting, a new bridge connecting Hinsdale and Brattleboro has a secure funding source and a tentative construction plan to start within the next two years.

The $50 million project got a boost recently when U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., announced a new $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

New Hampshire had applied for federal funding for the Hinsdale-Brattleboro bridge a few times before, but came up short, according to N.H. Department of Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan.

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Sheehan said the federal grant will prove highly consequential in the long-desired project getting over the finish line.

Otherwise, the whole cost would have had to be covered by bonds, tying up more department funds for interest payments, she said.

The plan is for the Granite and Green Mountain States to split the remaining costs between their transportation departments 83-17, respectively — since the Connecticut River is technically owned by New Hampshire — through bonds. The interest on those bonds will be covered by the regular federal funding both agencies get annually, Sheehan said.

Ideally, according to Sheehan and her assistant commissioner, Bill Cass, construction will begin in 2021, mostly focusing on the foundation in the riverbed. For the 2022 construction season, the steel girders and other parts of the bridge would be erected, with the goal of opening the new bridge — which is farther south of the current crossing — for traffic by the end of that year.

The biggest risk for potential delays, according to Sheehan and Cass, lies in the 13 properties on the Brattleboro side in the new bridge’s footprint. They said the Vermont Agency of Transportation is working on getting the right of way for each of them, but added Vermont’s right-of-way process is “more cumbersome” than New Hampshire’s, with a lengthy eminent domain battle in the courts — while unlikely — being the worst-case scenario.

Sen. Shaheen, a Democrat and former N.H. governor from 1997 to 2003, described the federal grant as a “down payment” on the project when meeting with local leaders late Friday afternoon in Hinsdale.

Shaheen examined the current bridges’ situation with N.H. DOT staff Friday. About half of Hinsdale residents drive over the two bridges connected by an island to get to work across the Connecticut River in Vermont, according to J.B. Mack, the principal planner for the Southwest Region Planning Commission.

The rickety, red-listed double truss bridges have raised concerns for years, and drivers can experience an average wait of 20 minutes during rush hour when there are train crossings on the Brattleboro side.

Once the frigid on-site visit wrapped up, Shaheen made her way over to the Hinsdale Police Department headquarters for a roundtable discussion on the new bridge, with the latest renderings on display.

As she took out her notebook and asked everyone to introduce themselves, Edwin “Smokey” Smith of Hinsdale quipped that he had been at meetings like these for Hinsdale-Brattleboro bridge committees since 1986.

Smith, a Republican state representative for seven terms who now volunteers on various boards, recalled working on the bridge issue and economic development in southwestern New Hampshire with Shaheen when they were both at the Statehouse in the 1990s, initially in her tenure as a state senator and later from Concord’s corner office.

“As Ed knows, some of those same challenges existed when I was governor,” the U.S. senator said.

Several of those gathered around the table described Hinsdale as part of the “forgotten corner” of New Hampshire, a longstanding moniker in the political topography of the Monadnock Region.

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Mack described how the new bridge could improve the local economy beyond cutting down on traffic wait times for rail crossings.

“Hinsdale and Winchester ... are some of the most economically challenged communities in the state and Cheshire County,” Mack told Shaheen. “So we’ve been really looking forward to this for a long time to bring in new business opportunities and investment opportunities.”

Key to those goals is a plan to rehabilitate the existing double truss bridges to accommodate pedestrians and emergency vehicles, Mack said. Preserving the bridges flanking Hinsdale Island is included in the grant Shaheen announced last month.

Cyclists and hikers would be able to cross the river with ease, and tourists coming up from New York City or down from Montreal could access the potential island park from the nearby Amtrak station, according to Sue Fillion, Brattleboro’s planning services director.

Hiking paths leading to the Pisgah and Monadnock State Parks would also be made more accessible to Brattleboro with the revamped bridges, officials said.

Even for a cynic like Smith, who lamented decades of false promises over a new bridge — which he claims date back to the last hand-drawn bridge markup done by N.H. DOT — the federal grant brings high hopes for the end of what’s become known as “Malfunction Junction,” he said.

“I love the term,” Shaheen chuckled when Smith brought up the congestion during rail crossings toward the end of the roundtable meeting.

“I mean, only because I don’t have to sit in it every day.”

Jake Lahut can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or jlahut@keenesentinel.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeLahut.

Keene ( NH ) Sentinel article on the Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted February 1, 2018, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Questions raised about old bridges at hearing for new Hinsdale-Brattleboro span

By Meg McIntyre Sentinel Staff Jan 19, 2018 (0)

HINSDALE — As state highway officials move forward with plans for a new bridge connecting the town to Brattleboro, members of the public have raised concerns about what will happen to the current bridges spanning the Connecticut River.

Several people asked about the future of those structures, and access to Hinsdale Island, at a public hearing Thursday night about the estimated $46 million project.

The bridges, named after Charles Dana and Anna Hunt Marsh, are Pennsylvania truss-style spans built in 1920 and rehabilitated in 1988. N.H. Department of Transportation officials classify the narrow bridges as functionally obsolete, which means they’re outdated, don’t meet current design standards and have height and weight restrictions.

In addition to building a new bridge, the transportation department plans to convert the old bridges for use by bicycles and pedestrians. The department has also applied for a TIGER grant to provide additional funds for the old bridges’ refurbishment.

The rest of the money for the bridge replacement project will come from federal highway funds, New Hampshire funds and Vermont funds, officials said Thursday.

Steve Lindsey, a former state representative from Keene, spoke in favor of maintaining the bridges so that people still have access to Hinsdale Island.

“It’s a wonderful public space. It’s a place for the public to go in nature, and it’s access to the river,” he said. “ ... We should maintain the old bridges as heritage structures, as access to a wonderful public resource for everyone to gain access to the island.”

Lindsey also noted that he had originally submitted the bill to name the bridges after Charles Dana and Anna Hunt Marsh, and that this style of bridge is no longer common.

However, Joseph Conroy, a Hinsdale resident who serves on the town’s budget committee, opposed maintaining the existing bridges and advocated for tearing them down sooner rather than later, which he said would be more inexpensive in the long-run.

“What are we going to do with them? Will they rot and fall into the river?” Conroy said. “ ... If we keep those bridges, 10 years from now, what’s it going to cost to take those bridges down? $10 million? $8 million? Taxpayers gotta pay for that.”

Hinsdale resident Edwin O. “Smokey” Smith, a former state representative, emphasized that if the bridges are maintained, the island should be cleaned up and turned into a “usable space” for the public.

A project to replace the bridges has been included in the state’s 10-year transportation improvement plan since fiscal year 1994, with its start date being delayed several times. It was bumped completely from the 2013-22 plan because of a lack of funding before being put back in the 2015-24 plan.

The new steel girder bridge, to be built several hundred feet downstream of the existing bridges, will stretch 1,782 feet across the Connecticut River. It will vary in width between 49 feet along the majority of the roadway and 53 feet at the Vermont-side intersection, which will be slightly wider to accommodate a turning lane where Route 119 intersects Route 142. That intersection will be controlled with a traffic signal. The plans also call for a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on the bridge’s north side, with a few viewing platforms for pedestrians to enjoy views of the river.

The state will begin accepting construction bids in late 2019, with work likely to begin in spring 2020 and continue into 2023, state officials said Thursday night.

The public hearing, which was moderated by a governor-appointed commission, drew about 50 people to Hinsdale Town Hall, including several state and town officials. The commission is chaired by Terry M. Clark, and area residents Christopher C. Coates and James M. Tetreault also serve on it.

State Sen. Jay V. Kahn, D-Keene, spoke in favor of the project, along with state Rep. Michael D. Abbott, D-Hinsdale.

“This project has been going on or in the works since basically 1973. It has been on and off the 10-year plan from that time forward ... I think that it’s been thoroughly vetted and explored and its time has come,” Abbott said. “I think that any delay in its implementation would have a very detrimental effect on the economic, social and basically the safety concerns of the Hinsdale community and all the other communities along Route 119.”

One attendee had a suggestion for naming the new bridge. Michael J. Mulligan of Hinsdale, who refers to himself as a “bridge angel,” proposed that the new bridge be named the Mike Mulligan Memorial Bridge.

Mulligan has been known in recent years for his demonstrations and protests on the bridge, where he posted warnings to drivers that they were traveling over what he claimed were unsafe structures.

A few hearing attendees asked about the process the project needed to go through on the Vermont side of the river.

They included Daniel Cotter, the director of plant and operations maintenance at Marlboro College, who expressed concern about the number of parking spaces the college’s Brattleboro location would lose because of the new construction.

Officials referred his concern and other questions to the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

The official record of the public hearing will remain open for 10 days. Members of the public can submit information or testimony for the record by mail to Peter E. Stamnas, director of project development at the N.H. Department of Transportation, at P.O. Box 483, Concord, 03302.

For more information on the project, visit http://bit.ly/2CpgxGF.

Meg McIntyre can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or mmcintyre@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MMcIntyreKS.

My letter for saving Anna Hunt Marsh
Posted February 1, 2018, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Fight to keep old Hinsdale bridges, by Steve Lindsey

Jan 17, 2018

They are building a big new bridge in Hinsdale. Across the Connecticut River. Over a wide section. Almost 1,800 feet of bridge (See “Public hearing set for Hinsdale bridge project,” The Sentinel, Dec. 30.)

After nearly 100 years, a new bridge, replacing two quirky green truss bridges upstream. It is the government’s responsibility to improve infrastructure to aid commerce. A Walmart SuperCenter is near the crossing. The Bridge to Walmart.

But government should be for more than commerce. The N.H. Department of Transportation project includes the preservation of the existing Anna Hunt Marsh and Charles Dana bridges, keeping the island in the middle of the river as a recreational area.

Why not? The government should be more to us than only providing for business. There are other parts of our lives that it should serve, too. Some have called for the demolition of the old bridges.

Consider joining me at the hearing to support keeping the two heritage spans. The hearing is Thursday at 7 p.m. at Hinsdale Town Hall.

STEVE LINDSEY

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted October 21, 2017, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Update. Some in Hinsdale, NH, including a budget committee member support demolition.

http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/state-highway-offic...

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted February 17, 2017, by Michael Quiet (mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge continues to be at threat for demolition, with the timetable being moved up on replacing this and its counterpart span, with construction tenativley projected for 2019-2022. This project has been moving back and forth on timing, so nothing set in stone yet.

http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/hinsdale-brattlebor...

The good news is that the new bridge will be on a completely different alignment, and at least the possibility of retaining this span for pedestrian use is on the table. This should absolutely happen, given the important historic nature of this bridge (top among them is that its one of the last Storrs designed spans left in NH)

Also noted in the article that the Vilas Bridge, a spectacular 2 span open-spandrel arch upstream, is not getting a rehabilitation anytime soon (if ever).

http://bridgehunter.com/vt/windham/26200620005200/

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted May 17, 2014, by Steven W Lindsey (SteveLindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wood plank sidewalk replaced on this span.

See: http://www.reformer.com/News/ci_25733632/HinsdaletoBrattlebo...

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted September 7, 2013, by Mike Mulligan (steamshovel2002 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Right, the Navy Seabees bridge is a modern rendition of a truss bridge. What makes it almost vibration free is the deck arch design. The middle of the bridge on the roadbed is about a foot or so higher than the roadbed sitting on the footing or bridge concrete foundation.

A heavy load on the arch creates compressive stress on the roadbed deck large steel members creating a much stronger bridge. I get it a large amnount of weight is transfered to the huge upper truss by their cables atached to the deck.

That has taken out most of the vibration out of this bridge….

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted September 7, 2013, by Mike Mulligan (steamshovel2002 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Yea, the NH state bridge inspector gave me that one with bridge vibrations too. He told me to go up to the new Navy Seabees a few mile north on route 9. It vibrates just like the 1921 bridge. Except it was rock solid. The Navy Seabees bridge is really a beautiful bridge.

This is really about NH not being able to fund their transportation agency…the state bridge inspectors defaulting to document and inspection falsification because they don’t want to disrupt 10,000s of people.

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted September 6, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Obviously this bridge has problems that need to be corrected. But, I do take issue with one of Mr. Mulligan's arguments...

He is concerned about the bridge vibrating when a car goes across it. Of course it vibrates. That is what bridges do. A modern UCEB will also vibrate as weight is transferred from one section to another. All it means is that the bridge is doing its job.

If you want to try something fun, stand on the walkway with your hands on the diagonal members. You will actually feel the weight being transferred. Please be safe when doing this, and please do not violate any laws, but you will gain an appreciation for how a truss bridge functions.

Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge
Posted September 5, 2013, by Nathan Holth

Funny article. What a moron. Functionally obsolete means the bridge geometry is not equal to modern guidelines, it does not mean the bridge is deteriorated. The only thing deteriorated is this guy's brain cells.

I did find that the guy had some detail photos of the bridge showing the rust that he thinks will cause the bridge to collapse. https://plus.google.com/photos/101222802273511819990/albums/...

These photos identify isolated areas of rust and section loss. These elements do not post an imminent danger to the bridge and can be easily repaired through rehabilitation.

Connecticut River Bridge
Posted September 5, 2013, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Here's a video of the same guy who got arrested at the Charles Dana Bridge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGbQ8545Hsw&desktop_uri=%2Fwa...

Connecticut River Bridge
Posted September 5, 2013, by Steve W Lindsey (SteveLindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Proper name of the bridge is the Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge, as it was named by the NH Legislature and governor with the approval of Hinsdale, NH and Brattleboro, Vt. town bodies. AHM was a social reformer with connections to both towns and one of the few bridges named for a woman (two others, one at Maidstone, Vt crossing and a lift bridge in Portsmouth, NH)

Connecticut River Bridge
Posted May 21, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)