3 votes

Arkwright Bridge


On bridge

Photo taken by James F. Gentner in April 2010


BH Photo #160207

Street Views 


Copied from Wikipedia:


The Arkwright Bridge is an abandoned historic bridge formerly carrying Hill Street over the Pawtuxet River in the Arkwright mill village in central Rhode Island. The river forms the border between Cranston and Coventry.

The first bridge to span the Pawtuxet River at this location was an early nineteenth century wooden bridge, located in the city of Cranston. In 1887, a special resolution was passed changing the Coventry-Cranston border to the Pawtuxet River. A new iron bridge was commissioned in 1888 by a joint building committee from both Coventry and Cranston and the responsibility for maintenance of the new bridge was to be shared by both municipalities.[2]

The bridge was built in 1888 by Dean & Westbrook for the Town of Coventry and the Interlaken Mills[3] (later known as the Arkwright Mills). It is the longest surviving 19th century truss bridge in Rhode Island,[4] and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The bridge is 128 feet, 6 inches long; 19 feet, 7 inches wide; and has and a depth of truss of 21 feet. The bridge is a single-span, through Pratt truss, built using Phoenix columns.

In 2004, there was a proposal to move the Arkwright Bridge to another location along the Pawtuxet River along the border of West Warwick, Rhode Island to be part of a proposed West Warwick Riverwalk. The bridge was ultimately not moved.[5]

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation recommended closure of the locally owned bridge, and following an inspection, determined that the weight limit should be reduced to less than 3 tons from the previous 5 tons. Both communities closed the 123-year-old span on Friday, September 30, 2011.[6][7][8] The bridge continues to be a popular jumping and swimming spot for local youth, with approximately 12 feet of air and an average 15 feet of water.


1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.

2. Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission (1978). National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form (PDF). pp. 23.

3. Information taken from bridge sign.

4. "Great American Bridges and Dams: A National Trust Guide" by Donald C. Jackson - 1988, pg. 101 (accessed on Google Books)

5. Scudder, Tracy (13 July 2004). "Arkwright Bridge to move?". Kent County Daily Times.

6. "Traffic Advisory: Arkwright Bridge to close". Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Retrieved 31 October 2011.

7. Costa, Lauren (30 September 2011). "Arkwright Bridge Ordered Closed by RIDOT". Coventry Patch. Retrieved 10 September 2012.

8. Schieldrop, Mark (29 September 2011). "Arkwright Bridge Will Close, Ending 123-years of Service". Cranston Patch. Retrieved 10 September 2012.


Pratt through truss bridge over North Branch Pawtuxet River on Hill Street in Coventry
Coventry, Kent County, Rhode Island, and Providence County, Rhode Island
Closed to vehicular traffic.
Built 1888 by Dean & Westbrook; rehabilitated 1980, 1998; Closed to traffic 2011
- Dean & Westbrook of New York, New York
Pin-connected Pratt through truss with Phoenix columns.
Length of largest span: 127.0 ft.
Total length: 128.9 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 17.8 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1978
Also called
North Branch Pawtuxet River Bridge
Interlaken Mill Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.73048, -71.54645   (decimal degrees)
41°43'50" N, 71°32'47" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/288213/4622986 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 1999)
Inventory numbers
RI 8420 (Rhode Island bridge number)
NRHP 78000061 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 31894 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 23.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 18, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: copied description from Wikipedia
  • March 14, 2021: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • September 27, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • July 14, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • June 16, 2016: Updated by Michael Quiet: Added pictures. Noted dates of closure and an earlier rehab
  • August 20, 2014: Updated by Chester Gehman: Corrected name, added NRHP # and date
  • March 1, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King
  • November 24, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Corrected county
  • October 5, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now closed to traffic.
  • April 1, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated bridge information.
  • April 1, 2010: New photos from James F. Gentner
  • March 31, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added Street View and Corrected GPS and Bridge Name.


  • Nathan Holth
  • James F. Gentner - jfgentner678 [at] aol [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Luke
  • Chester Gehman - gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Michael Quiet - mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Patrick Gurwell - pgurwell [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com


Arkwright Bridge
Posted March 18, 2021, by Patrick Gurwell (pgurwell [at] gmail [dot] com)


It is a very nice spot. Bridge seems to be in good shape. It would be great to get it open, and open to pedestrians.

Arkwright Bridge
Posted March 15, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Sad, I see in the recent photos Patrick posted that the bridge is now fenced off with No Trespassing signs. This is the only Phoenix truss in Rhode Island and should be preserved for pedestrian use!

Interlaken Mill Bridge
Posted April 1, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I am accustomed to visiting through truss bridges and having clearance signs placed on top of plaques by agencies who could care less about historic bridges. However I find it strange that a historical society would plaster their sign right on top of the plaque. Dean and Westbrook plaques are among the most unusual and beautiful bridge plaques ever encountered. They should not be covered up!

Interpretive signage that identifies a historic bridge is important, but it is clear that such a sign could have been placed someplace more tasteful.

Interlaken Mill Bridge
Posted March 31, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Looks like a Dean and Westbrook Phoenix Column bridge to me.