Rating:
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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.

Wintertime bridge closure 

Written by Amanda

I went to go see this bridge in February 2018, and I was EXTREMELY disappointed.

Despite the fact that the town has spent a lot of time and money restoring this bridge, and despite the fact that the bridge is now designated as a New Hampshire State Historic Landmark, the bridge was inaccessible due to the fact that the area had received a snowstorm the night before.

You would THINK that if the community has put all of this time and effort into maintaining the bridge, that they would also put the much lower effort into keeping the access path open even during the winter when there is snow on the ground. But alas, they do not. They had not plowed the access path AT ALL, meaning that I had to walk through 3 or 4 inches of heavy, wet snow just to take a few long-distance photos of the bridge.

While there is not an official “Bridge closed” or similar barrier, it is obvious that the town does not want the bridge open and in use during the winter months - otherwise they would make a high priority to keep the access path open. As such, the BridgeHunter.com status has been updated to “Closed during the winter” while it remains winter in New Hampshire. I or someone else will change it back to “open to pedestrians” once pedestrians can actually access the bridge.

It could be argued that the bridge is too fragile and/or too narrow to take a snowplow to the structure. Even if this is the case, there are sidewalk plows that are designed to handle narrow surfaces. If this was not adequate, the town should remove the snow by hand. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s a lot less work than properly maintaining a bridge built over 100 years ago when you could simply tear it down and forget about it. In the worst case scenario, the town should at least install a safety barrier saying “bridge closed” and a town representive should’ve indicated this on BridgeHunter.com. That would’ve prevented out-of-staters like me from traveling quite a distance to see this bridge, only to find it barricaded off by snow.

Facts 

Overview
Pin connected Lenticular through truss bridge over Suncook River in Chichester
Location
Merrimack County, New Hampshire
Status
Closed during the winter
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 numers
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 

  • 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
  • Amanda

Comments 

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.

Pineground Bridge
Posted February 18, 2018, by Amanda

Do not try to visit this bridge during the winter months in New Hampshire, as you will find it inaccessible and closed off by snowdrifts. See my essay above.