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Fremont Exeter River Bridge

Photos 

Fremont Exeter River Bridge

Portal view looking east

Photo taken by Nick Boppel in June 2020

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BH Photo #473818

Map 

Description 

This bridge is one of two crossings of the Rockingham Recreational Trail over the Exeter River. This structure is the more noteworthy crossing because of its unusual design. The superstructure is a steel through plate girder bridge. However, it has the appearance of a railroad bridge, and therefore it appears that either the bridge was relocated from some unknown location to serve the trail when the trail corridor was developed, or alternatively what is today the trail was formerly a railroad line and this bridge remains in its original location. Given the amount of graffiti on the structure, it would appear that the latter is more likely, since it would be expected that the structure would be cleaned upon being relocated for reuse elsewhere. The trail is patrolled by police and is closed from dusk to dawn, and therefore it would also seem unlikely that the graffiti is the result of trail users.

Facts 

Overview
Pony/through girder bridge over Exeter River on Rockingham Recreational Trail
Location
Fremont, Rockingham County, New Hampshire
Status
Open to pedestrians and permitted motorized trail vehicles
History
Appears to have been a former railroad bridge, but unknown whether it was relocated to serve the trail or if the trail was originally a railroad
Railroads
- Boston & Maine Railroad (B&M; BM)
- Rail-to-trail
Design
Steel through plate girder
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.97416, -71.12537   (decimal degrees)
42°58'27" N, 71°07'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/326689/4760136 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 89597 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 26, 2020: Updated by Ian Martin: Added categories "Rail-to-trail", "Boston & Maine Railroad", "Railroad"
  • June 14, 2020: New photos from Nick Boppel

Sources 

  • Nick Boppel - nickboppel01 [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Fremont Exeter River Bridge
Posted June 15, 2020, by Matt Lohry

Yes, I would concur that this is a railroad bridge in its original location. The trail that the bridge services was obviously a railroad with its very long straight stretches and very gradual curves, characteristics of rail lines. Also, the bridge has "in-riggers", which would be quite hazardous for road traffic.

Fremont Exeter River Bridge
Posted June 14, 2020, by Ian Martin

This is almost certainly a railroad bridge since this part of the Rockingham Recreational Trail is the former B&M Worcester, Nashua & Portland division mainline. Interestingly, this segment was abandoned in the 1930s, which makes it surprising that the bridge survived long enough to become part of the trail - all of the other steel bridges between Nashua and Fremont were removed. However, the stub from Fremont to Epping remained active until the 1980s, and it's possible that the remaining active track/railroad property extended across the bridge. Details/source here: https://railroad.net/viewtopic.php?style=18&t=154729.