Rating:
11 votes

Pineground Bridge

Photos 

Depot Road Over Suncook River

Depot Road over the Suncook River, Chichester, NH.

Photo taken by David P. Timmins in February 2009

BH Photo #133368

Map 

Description 

Located in central NH is this well preserved lenticular through truss bridge that is an outstanding example of preservation of a historic bridge. Built in 1887 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. this bridge employees a single span with a short overall height, resulting in its offset portal bracing. The bridge is located in a quiet neighborhood over an idyllic river, giving a beautiful setting. Thankfully this bridge retains an outstanding amount of historical integrity and has been very well maintained by the community since it was bypassed by a modern steel stringer in 1981. Indeed over the years the bridge has been rehabilitated, painted, and had abutment work, showing how much the community values this beautiful structure.

The bridge, as noted, retains a excellent amount of historical integrity, with no obvious modifications to the bridge. Decorative details common to Berlin Iron Bridges (such as cast iron finials, portal cresting, and builders plaque are all still in place (although one of the builders plaques is a replica, as it was missing at the time this bridge was closed). The truss itself is in good order, although there are a few spots that show signs of stress deflection.

Also of note is the level of work mentioned earlier that has gone into the preservation and maintenance of this bridge. Given that this are usually the biggest obstacles seen to retaining and preserving historic bridges, it is a remarkable sight to see a community take such great care of the bridge. This includes a rehabilitation (with new wooden deck) and painting done when the bridge was converted to pedestrian use in 1981, Rebuilding of the east abutment in 2006, and a repainting of the bridge in 2007. Truly an example of how a community can rally behind a unique and significant historic bridge.

Facts 

Overview
Pin connected Lenticular through truss bridge over Suncook River in Chichester
Location
Merrimack County, New Hampshire
Status
Open to pedestrians only
History
Built 1887 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co.; Closed to traffic 1978; Bypassed and rehabilitated for pedestrian use 1981
Builder
- Berlin Iron Bridge Co. of East Berlin, Connecticut
Design
Wrought iron lenticular through truss with cast iron plaques, crestings and finials.
Dimensions
Span length: 96.1 ft.
Total length: 96.1 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 2004
Also called
Thunder Bridge, Depot Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.25722, -71.36944   (decimal degrees)
43°15'26" N, 71°22'10" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/307674/4792105 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Pittsfield
Inventory numbers
NRHP 04000149 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 24985 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2009)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 20, 2018: Updated by Amanda: Remove essay; update bridge status (open to pedestrians again)
  • February 18, 2018: Essay added by Amanda
  • June 22, 2016: New photos from Michael Quiet
  • July 5, 2014: Updated by Fmiser: Added category "Wrought Iron"
  • March 25, 2014: New photo from David P. Timmins
  • May 27, 2011: Updated by Will: Added National Register information
  • February 14, 2009: Updated name and design
  • February 14, 2009: New photos from David P. Timmins

Sources 

  • David P. Timmins - grumpytimm [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Will Truax - Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Fmiser - fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Chichester Historical Society - Historical Society's website about the bridge
  • Michael Quiet - mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 20, 2018, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I was able to find the page that says it's open to snowmobiles etc. It's what the page says. I'll try to post the link to it:

http://chichesternh.virtualtownhall.net/Public_Documents/Chi...

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 20, 2018, by Anonymous

Was that a Robert "Frost" poem

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 20, 2018, by Anonymous

Heed the plaintive cry of the intrepid bridgehunter thwarted in their quest to cast their steely eyes upon the beauty that is an historic truss bridge.

In springtime, mud and high water doth impede their progress; summer and autumn are rife with biting insects, woodland creatures, and excessive foliage, making photography truly difficult.

But winter is the harshest season of all; she painteth the earth in fluffy white powder and ice, an hindrance most cruel.

Will no one come forth and vanquish this evil frozen precipitation in timely fashion?

Will no one give succor to this weary wanderer?

Eh, snow happens. Then it melts.

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous
Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

Seems strange you can not navigate the town site.

Attachment #1 (image/x-ms-bmp; 5,090,454 bytes)

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Local Resident of Chichester

I brought this up at tonight’s Heritage Commission meeting, mentioning that the wintertime bridge closure despite lack of signage was causing confusion and arguments on BridgeHunter.com... as well as mentioning that someone from BridgeHunter.com reportedly claims the bridge is listed on the town website as open to snowmobiles, yet provided a dead link that gives 404 errors...

I was told that both issues “would be looked into” and that the Hertiage Commission will need to get in touch with the DPW for the first issue and the town webmaster regarding the second issue. The President of the Hertiage Commission has asked that I “inform all users of BridgeHunter.com that the issues are being looked into and that patience is greatly appreciated” (direct quote)

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

this is what the URL looks like for me

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

Or should I say works FINE for me

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

Works fine for me

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

404 page not found on that URL

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

The URL you linked is just the home page for our town website - it doesn't say anything about the bridge.

Regardless, the bridge is NOT open for snowmobiles, and the last few winters, as noted above, signage was posted saying the bridge was not maintained in the winter, though such signage was never installed this year.

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 19, 2018, by Anonymous

Local area resident speaking

Amanda actually is correct. This bridge is closed whenever there is more than ~2 inches of snow on it. This is not a snowmobile trail, but rather essentially is just the sidewalk for the replacement bridge.

Usually there are signs erected at both ends that say “Bridge not maintained in the winter” however for some reason this year they were never put up.

Regardless, I can confirm that currently the bridge is accessible and fully open to pedestrians.

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 18, 2018, by Matt Lohry

As with historic bridges open to the public here in Wisconsin, maintenance typically does not include clearing snow during the winter--there simply is no justification for the cost of clearing snow due to the fact that in winter in Wisconsin, snow is anticipated, and the assumption is that anyone wanting to visit them will properly prepare by putting on appropriate clothing/boots. In fact, many of these bridges are on trails used by snowmobiles, and as such, REQUIRE a substantial snow covering to prevent damage to the decks from snowmobile track studs and ski wear bars.

Pineground Bridge
Posted April 18, 2018, by Luke

She also added a few on bridges that had similar names so people "wouldn't get them confused", despite them all being in entirely different states: https://bridgehunter.com/ny/richmond/verrazano-narrows/

Pineground Bridge
Posted February 18, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I've found that an ample amount of snow makes pictures even better. Just gotta have a good pair of boots!

Pineground Bridge
Posted February 18, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Three or four _inches_? Grab your mukluks and trudge!

http://bridgehunter.com/ks/johnson/bh45448/

Do try to avoid injury, seriously.