2 votes

Lilac Bridge



Opened for traffic in 1909, this bridge is New Hampshire's only surviving example of a threespan High Pratt truss bridge. Rename the Lilac Bridge in 1997.

Photo taken by David P. Timmins

BH Photo #125684


Street Views 


Explosion video

Play video on YouTube


Bypassed through truss bridge over Merrimack River in Hooksett
Hooksett, Merrimack County, New Hampshire
Removed but not replaced
Future prospects
Demolished by controlled explosives July 7, 2017
Built 1909; South span destroyed & replaced 1936; Bypassed in 1976; demolished July 2017
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Fabricator)
- Horseheads Bridge Co. of Horseheads, New York (Steelwork erectors)
- John Williams Storrs (Designer)
- United Construction Co. of Albany, New York (Contractor)
Three-span riveted Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 170.0 ft.
Total length: 490.2 ft.
Deck width: 18.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.4 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Hooksett Village Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.09578, -71.46334   (decimal degrees)
43°05'45" N, 71°27'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/299525/4774396 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Manchester North
Inventory number
BH 24983 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 09/2007)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 0.0 (out of 100)

Update Log 

  • November 8, 2017: New video from Clark Vance
  • July 7, 2017: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Bridge demolished July 7, 2017
  • April 8, 2016: Updated by Michael Quiet: Updated builder info
  • July 28, 2015: New photo from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • June 11, 2015: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • May 29, 2015: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • July 7, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • May 22, 2012: Updated by Will Truax: Added design engineer
  • September 11, 2011: New Street View added by J.P.
  • October 13, 2009: Updated by C Hanchey: Bridge is also known as the Hooksett Village Bridge
  • October 11, 2008: New photos from David P. Timmins

Related Bridges 


  • David P. Timmins - grumpytimm [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Hooksett's Lilac Bridge listed on State Register - New Hampshire Banner news article.
  • C Hanchey - cmh2315fl [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Will Truax - Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Michael Quiet - mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV


Lilac Bridge
Posted October 21, 2017, by Anonymous

Update. Hooksett town officials upset over design of replacement bicycle bridge, noting North Span differs from other two. They are not apparently students of history or they would have known the Storis designed bridge lost a span during the Flood of 36, and the replacement looked slightly different. The bicycle bridge is seen by many as the culmination of their years of public service and is a source of pride.

See: http://www.unionleader.com/Hooksett/Lilac-Bridge-constructio...

Lilac Bridge
Posted July 8, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm feeling nauseous...

Lilac Bridge
Posted July 8, 2017, by Michael Quiet (mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com)

Another success for New Hampshire's war on the legacy of John Storrs. With this we're pretty much down to the Anna Hunt, which will be coming up for replacement in the next few years http://bridgehunter.com/nh/cheshire/12500410004000/

Given how things are going I'm getting much less optimistic about the possibility of preservation.

This is a loss on several other levels, as an increasingly rare multi-span through truss, a rare product of the American Bridge/United Bridge duo, and as a survivor (2/3rds anyways) of the flood of 1936.

Lilac Bridge
Posted April 8, 2016, by Michael Quiet (MQuiet [at] Gmail [dot] com)

A long but incredibly thorough and comprehensive study of the bridge, including a looks at John Williams Storrs (increasingly rare) work.


Also fascinating to find out that its immediate predecessor was a Briggs Truss

Lilac Bridge
Posted April 4, 2016, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

Article on the sale of the Lilac Bridge and the new bridge proposal: http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2016/04/04/lilac-bridg... Bland and tasteless replacement if you ask me...... ;-P

Lilac Bridge
Posted February 2, 2015, by Will Truax (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

I somehow missed this, (The Banner is a free weekly handed out at Hooksett area markets) or I would've shared it here. I lived in town as a boy, and this bridge is among my earliest memories.

It's been a bad run of news for the remaining Storrs spans of late.

Lilac Bridge
Posted February 2, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

That's nuts! That thing is newer and probably stronger than the Lambertville - New Hope bridge.

Can Nels fix it less than the scrap and replace price?


Art S.

Lilac Bridge
Posted February 2, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

$11.5 million to rehab this noteworthy historic bridge and only $3.3 million to reduce it to scrap metal and replace it? Were they planning on painting the rehabilitated bridge in 24 carat gold?!

Lilac Bridge - Slated for Demolishment
Posted February 2, 2015, by Randy Needham (RNeedham [at] AcrowUSA [dot] com)

Town council voted to remove it and replace it with a pedestrian / utility bridge. It is in danger of collapsing into the Merrimack River.


Bypassed Historic Bridge
Posted January 8, 2007, by my name (kara 115 [at] aim [dot] com)

you need to show a picture so i can see what it looks like so i can do my project