Rating:
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Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge

Photos 

1937 Chesterfield-Brattleboro Steel Arch Bridge

Photo taken by C Hanchey in October 2009

Enlarge

BH Photo #147581

Map 

Street View 

Description 

The bridge won the 1937 Award of Merit from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) as the "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" in Class C.

Facts 

Overview
Steel through arch bridge over Connecticut River on former Hwy 9 in Chesterfield
Location
Brattleboro, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, and Windham County, Vermont
Status
Open to Pedestrians
History
Built 1937 by Bethlehem Steel Co.; Bypassed in 2003
Builders
- Bethlehem Steel Co. of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Fabricators)
- John H. Wells (Designer)
Design
Steel through arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 419.0 ft.
Total length: 440.0 ft.
Deck width: 24.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.8 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.88389, -72.55167   (decimal degrees)
42°53'02" N, 72°33'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/699939/4750828 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Putney
Inventory numer
BH 24833 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2009)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Imminent Failure (1 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Imminent Failure (1 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Imminent Failure (1 out of 9)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 21, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Riveted", "Preserved"
  • November 23, 2015: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • February 20, 2014: New photo from Jack Schmidt
  • September 11, 2011: New Street View added by J.P.
  • August 5, 2010: New photo from Ian Ligget
  • July 29, 2010: New photos from Brian McKee

Related Bridges 

Sources 

  • C Hanchey - cmh2315fl [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Brian McKee - bjmckee51 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Ian Ligget
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Comments 

Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge, another rejoinder (mine)
Posted February 15, 2018, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Letter-to-the-editor

An interesting read, by Steve Lindsey

Jan 30, 2017

I have always wanted to write a book. Not a serious book. A humorous one. A light-hearted book. One of those “Secret Lives of Something” books. A part of a recognized series. A book where there would be a revenue stream, so I could take interesting vacations. Something with entertainment and distracting value.

My title would be “The Secret Lives of Elected and Appointed Officials.” A work that would put forth how politicians and commissioners actually work and behave. This wouldn’t be anything salacious involving stains on dresses or congressional pages. It would involve those seeking power, jockeying for power. That sort of thing.

My favorite chapter would illustrate the need to humiliate and demean lessors in the political hierarchy. Of particular interest would be the degradation of the citizenry that endures the political caste system. Keeping the citizen inline and under the thumb would make for boffo material, a good read.

In recent weeks, a group trying to save the Harlan Fiske Stone Bridge dissolved after years of stonewalling by state authorities. The Chesterfield Arch Bridge Beautification and Preservation Society is no more. They wanted to save the 1937 riveted-steel arch bridge and turn it into a park and scenic overlook on the Connecticut River. Like Shelburne Falls’ Bridge of Flowers.

This was, of course, a doomed project that sees two nearby underfunded state parks faltering and failing: Pisgah Park and the Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area.

This news followed on the heels of the dissolution of another citizens’ group proposing a dog park for Keene. City officials likewise broke the will of this grassroots effort, too. How dare the uneducated and unofficial voice opinion and put forth programs? We live in a world of experts.

For you out there, thinking of getting involved beyond voting once a year for one of two candidates chosen by party bosses, consultants and special interests, buy my book. It will be a better use of your time.

Sincerely,

STEVE LINDSEY

17 Center St

Keene

Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge preservationist taking on hostile editorial.
Posted February 15, 2018, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

All we expected was bridge maintenance, by Lorraine Scrivani

Jan 31, 2017

Your editorial, “State shouldn’t fund bridge upkeep” (Jan. 24), states:

“… the group (Chesterfield Arch Bridge Society) is wrong to expect state transportation funds.”

It infers that we expected money from the state. Our group never expected money from the state.

We did expect some maintenance for the bridge. Although we had an encroachment agreement and we placed benches and flower barrels, the state owns and is responsible for some bridge upkeep and safety for pedestrians.

LORRAINE SCRIVANI

Chesterfield Arch Bridge Society

Anti editorial for saving Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge, the Keene Sentinel.
Posted February 15, 2018, by Steve Lindsey (stevelindsey60 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Sentinel Editorial

State shouldn't fund bridge upkeep

Jan 24, 2017

The Justice Harlan Fiske Stone Bridge, built in 1937, is rusting and hasn’t borne vehicle traffic since 2003, when a new, larger structure was built less than 20 feet away. Instead, it serves pedestrians, cyclists and those who just want to pause and enjoy the view of the Connecticut River.

The new bridge, dubbed the U.S. Navy Seabees Bridge, was long sought as concerns grew about the safety of the older bridge.

In 2009, a group of area residents formed the Arch Bridge Beautification and Preservation Society, hoping to not only keep the bridge in use, but also turn it into a lasting destination along the lines of the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, Mass. Group members mowed grass, pulled weeds and installed planters at either end and in the middle of the bridge. They added benches and two water tanks to make watering flowers in planters easier. Local businesses donated money and materials for the project.

At one point, noting the deteriorating look of the bridge, the group applied for a N.H. Moose Plate Grant to fund the repair of some unsightly rusty cable conduits that run the length of the bridge, to no avail. The state Department of Transportation has been unwilling to fund repainting the structure, too.

The Arch Bridge Beautification and Preservation Society, having dwindled from about 40 members to a half-dozen today, announced recently it will disband. The announcement came with a tinge of bitterness that the state hasn’t stepped up to help fund its efforts.

As wonderful as those efforts have been for those who enjoy the pedestrian bridge, the group is wrong to expect state transportation funds.

New Hampshire has nearly 500 bridges on its “red list.” Those are just the ones deemed to be in such poor shape structurally that the state feels the need to inspect them more frequently and start planning to repair, rehabilitate or replace them. A separate list of 820 “mediocre” bridges — those close to making the red list — also exists.

Over the past 20 years, the state has essentially kept pace with the deterioration of bridges. Some years, it’s made a little progress; others, it’s fallen further behind. New Gov. Chris Sununu has promised to make transportation infrastructure a priority, so there’s hope the situation will get better.

In the meantime, as nice as it would be to have state funding to help keep the Harlan Fiske Stone Bridge viable, the prospect that even one Granite State bridge might fail for lack of repairs while funding went to repainting a closed and replaced bridge is horrific to contemplate.

The bridge group has certainly gone well beyond what could have been expected of its members, and it’s sad to see those members so frustrated that they’re ready to give up the effort. Perhaps a solution lies in applying for a grant through the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program.

Or maybe they could follow another example the group’s leaders have cited. Shelburne Falls’ Bridge of Flowers, once slated to be destroyed, was saved by a community effort led by the local Woman’s Club. Though it was far more involved, the fundraising relied more on private donations and grant money than public funds. Its success created a reputation that has continued to garner support — enough to keep the maintenance going.

That’s a high bar and perhaps, when all is said and done, it’s not worth it to maintain a picturesque view and pedestrian trail. But putting state funds meant for public safety into such a project would be wrong.

The Keene Sentinel

Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge
Posted December 17, 2012, by lorraine scrivani (lorrainesky [at] yahoo [dot] com)

For more information about the Justice Harlan Fiske Stone

Arch Bridge and the Chesterfield Arch Bridge Society, please post web site

www.hfsarchbridge.com

thank you

lorraine

Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge
Posted January 3, 2011, by Lorraine scrivani (lorrainesky [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Please include the attached copy of the plaque that was placed on the bridge at the dedication ceremony on

Sept 12, 2010

thanks

Chesterfield-Brattleboro Bridge
Posted September 3, 2010, by lorraine scrivani (lorrainesky [at] yahoo [dot] com)

A dedication ceremony will be held on the bridge on Sunday, Sept 12, 2010 at 2PM.

A plaque will be placed on the bridge which has been named for Justice Harlan Fiske Stone

Bypassed NH / VT 9 Connecticut River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2010, by lorraine scrivani (lorrainesky [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge has been named for Justice Harlan Fiske Stone

(see HB1418) 2010 and signed by Gov.Lynch.

The Arch Bridge Preservation & Beautification Society is working to turn the bridge into an attraction by placing flowers and benches on the bridge.

Several articles have appeared in the "Keene Sentinel" and the "Brattleboro Reformer" regarding this project.

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