Rating:
71 votes

First Branch Bridge

Photos 

1

Photo taken by Nick Fabrikant

Enlarge

View this photo at fabrikant.co

BH Photo #325818

Map 

Description 

Art Deco Revival. Two galvanized steel 40' W21 X 44 beams with four galvanized steel W22 X 14 cross braces create the main support. Over 65 tons of bridge-strength concrete at 4500PSI. Eastern Hemlock decking 3" X 7" X 7' clear with a 1650 Fb (bending stress). The railings are 6061 T6 Aluminum.

Overbuilt for durability and has a factor of safety of 5 (same F.O.S. as the Brooklyn bridge). Suitable for small trucks, jeeps, snowmobiles, small excavators, trains, or monorails. Any narrow vehicles that won't chew up the land as much can cross. Monorails...

Facts 

Overview
Bridge over Jenkins Brook (First Branch White River) on Private Drive/Pedestrian Trail
Location
Chelsea, Orange County, Vermont
Status
Open to pedestrians only
History
Built in 2014 by a young Vermont architect, Nick Fabrikant, to give access to the open woods opposite the stream.
Builder
- Nick Fabrikant
Design
Beam
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 40.0 ft.
Total length: 45.0 ft.
Deck width: 7.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.97237, -72.43532   (decimal degrees)
43°58'21" N, 72°26'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/705718/4872001 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 67829 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 29, 2015: Essay added by Justin Will

Sources 

Comments 

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Robert Elder

I just had a look at the Crown Point Bridge on Nathan Holth's website. That was one awesome bridge! I missed it...

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Plus, the silver railings mitigate the loss of the Crown Point Bridge.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Art Deco Revival seems like an appropriate description given that this is a near replica of the Hill to Hill Bridge in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

It does look quite superhero-esque...

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Immortal, strong jawed structure, superhero!

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Boring! Blasé! Common-place!

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Robert Elder

If laughter is the best medicine, these comments are going to keep us alive until 2115.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Enlightenment? Simple, one look at the proportions of this bridge.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Actually by 2115, this will be the ONLY bridge. Apocalyptic structural integrity was built into the physics.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

One look at the profile of this bridge will immediately double facial symmetry, triple life-expectancy, and quadruple one's generosity of spirit.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

One look at the profile of this bridge will immediately double facial symmetry, triple life-expectancy, and quadruple one's generosity of spirit.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

The poor Piss Creek Bridge must be feeling unloved with all of the attention being given to this one today.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Where is the Half Star Bandit when you need him?

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

I'm also going to call bullshit on the 4.25 star rating with 43 votes.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

The bridge was added by the architect's business partner, so the "praise" in the description is pretty self-masturbatory if you ask me.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Don Morrison

It is not the bridge that is drawing attention here, it is the gushing praise in the description and some comments.

It's kind of like the opposite of trolling; drawing comments by being overly positive. LOL

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Fred Jefferson

Actually, Anonymous, we are talking about the Brooklyn Bridge. By the year 2115, historians will consider the two bridges to be of roughly the same architectural significance.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Come along come along with your boatie and your song

My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids

For the night it is dark and the Redcoat is gane

And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

In terms of fantasy it looks like a Jedi-bridge.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

In terms of insanity, it is comparable to the Asylum Bridge in Kansas.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Aluminum handrails and Eastern Hemlock decking do not make up culverts.

Healthy debate is productive where we learn and share ideas objecitvely. Those that like this bridge have conveyed that they too like historic bridges as well and have never been directly offensive, simply stating their point, albeit it exaggerated at times for sure (the comment about the New River Gorge Bridge brought some needed light and humor). Those opposed to the bridge have been directly negative, denying any existence that this bridge looks simple and clean. I wonder if we're looking at the same pictures... We're not talking about the Brooklyn bridge here no, but one should objectively admit that this bridge is certainly more than acceptable...

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Paul Johnson

In terms of beauty, it is comparable to the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

In terms of engineering, the bridge is a beam on some concrete with some steel handrails, made out of the same materials as culverts. It may do the job. And it may look acceptable, but now these glorified comments have crossed into spam. I would rather see a historic truss here, as would many other contributing members of this site.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Nathan Conroy

Let it be. It does its job. It's not offensive.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Mark Wilson

In terms of engineering feats, this footbridge is comparable to the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Robert Elder

Wrought Iron would be a good choice here for durability.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Mick Lions

Galvanized steel is a good choice here for durability

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

You definitely need 65 tons of concrete for the abutments in Vermont even for shorter span bridges because the snow melt runoff is fierce.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

I love the way the light reflects off the aluminum in picture number 10!

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Wonder how much it cost because a reused pony truss would have worked well for about 40k. There are so many that need homes.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Fits in there nicely with the snow.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 27, 2015, by Mick Lions

The aluminum railing looks sleek. I've never seen one like it. I agree. Also here the galvanized steel and the decking looks really sweet. The size is makes sense allowing snowmobiles and small excavators to cross without making the opening too wide for larger vehicles.

We all have our opinions which is great. I like historic truss bridges but here would it be too dark for these particular surroundings with all the evergreen trees. This bridge works because it's light and airy here in the location.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Don Morrison

I'm with Robert Elder on this one - It's certainly not a bad bridge, but despite the bombastic description, it's not really much more than a simple beam bridge with nice wood decking. Bridge-strength concrete for abutments? It's a pedestrian bridge.

The "truss" is just a decorative railing bolted to the decking.

I'd be much more pleased to see an historic truss bridge here, they could just put in bollards or boulders to prevent large vehicles from trying to cross.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Anonymous

I like the Ironton-Russell Bridge because it makes a cool noise when I drive across it.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Scott Riesling

Take a deep breath, clear your head, enlarge the first picture in the scroll and let's all admit to ourselves that yes new bridges when done well can look awesome!

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Tyler Riley

This site is seemingly a place mostly for historic bridges– very cool. But what I've seen of most new bridges, this one almost looks historic itself– also very cool!

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Bill Eichelberger

Talk about a waste of bandwidth.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Tyler Riley

Looks cool to me.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Tom Frank

The uproar and the insecurity here is strange and unnecessary. If you look at it closely, it fits it well with the environment and makes a stance for the future without being different for different's sake. Everyone loves historic bridges as well, nobody is denying that. This bridge too will one day have a history of its own. Picture 6 indicates pooling water and picture 7 a hearty spring runoff.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by John Wellspring

I agree, no huge technical leaps in regards to any of the types of bridges for awhile. Aesthetically, this bridge is different. The fact that this bridge has garnered so much attention from this post is reason 1 for uniqueness. Reason 2 would be the combination of galvanized steel and eastern hemlock. Reason 3 would be the railing formation; verticals and horizontals put together in an symmetrically unique fashion. Reason 4 would be, though new, it doesn't look like a oversized green snake than many modern pedestrian bridges resemble. Reason 5, try to find one that looks like it, you can't.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Jake Jackson

Technically, this is a beam bridge, as in technically there are arch, cantilever, truss, suspension, and cable-stayed bridges. Nothing new under the sun for awhile in terms of any of the basic bridge types.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by George Jones

Looks like the bridges on the Merritt Parkway headed into or from New York City.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Robert Elder

Seriously question...how does this bridge stand out for "pure uniqueness"? I have read all of the glowing comments and the flowery essay, but nobody has provided a discussion of what technological advances set this bridge apart from modern stringers. If there is something unique about this bridge, I would love to know what it is. Please be specific.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 26, 2015, by Robert Elder

I think that we are just going to have to agree to disagree. This bridge just looks like a stringer placed on concrete abutments. I just hate to see 19th Century wrought iron trusses sold for scrap when they could be placed on hiking trails such as this one.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 25, 2015, by Scott Riesling

Except seeing one that is capable of carrying both tradition and innovation.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 25, 2015, by Robert Elder

I can't say I am a fan of modern welded trusses (MOBs) either. There is nothing better than seeing a relocated historic bridge on a trail like this.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 25, 2015, by Scott Riesling (Scott [dot] riesling78 [at] gmail [dot] com )

Surely a bit waxed and a bit poetic but I get it. If you look at contemporary designed bridges, they're either generic (boring), historical copies (handsome, but still boring), or awkwardly modern (wonky). Many new pedestrian or small vehicle bridges built today are made to look awkward and asymmetric on purpose which the architect certainly did not do here. No did he reproduce a warren or pratt truss which we've all seen a thousand times. I think this bridge DOES stand out for pure uniqueness; find one that looks like it, you can't– yet it's simple, novel and handsome. Hard to do.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 25, 2015, by Robert Elder

It is not a bad little bridge, but the description sure waxes poetic. My apologies, but I am not THAT impressed. A relocated historic truss would look nice here.

First Branch Bridge
Posted July 25, 2015, by John Wellspring (Jwellspring45 [at] gmail [dot] com )

I greatly appreciate the architect's nod to historical proportion and symmetry, yet the bridge doesn't look tired and dated– rather streamlined and forward-looking, with strong sense an optimism. Reminiscent of the American 1930's Works Progress Administration style with Art Deco accents. Rare to see any designed and over engineered like this. Well done; strong, timeless, and easy on the eyes.

First Branch Bridge
Posted May 29, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

"Steel truss" is stated in the description, but the photos just show a simple beam bridge...

Any more bridges planned for the park? In my opinion a relocated and restored historic metal truss bridge would be in keeping with the goals and intent of the park. Particularly with short spans like this it is easy to modify a historic bridge to provide a narrower roadway, which also increases capacity for the bridge. Many available historic truss bridges are composed of deterioration-resistant wrought iron, which functions like weathering steel.