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Grand Avenue Bridge


Photo taken by Chris Lewis

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)


View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #335962


Street View 


Replaced a wooden deck bridge, known as the "Dragon Bridge", since the Fair Haven neighborhood was called Dragon at one time. NRHP gives date of 1896 but bridge not completed until early 1898. The swing portion consisted of two Pratt trusses back-to-back with an inclined top chord, and was built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. The Fair Haven & Westville Railroad, a trolley line, crossed the bridge until the line ceased operation, perhaps the 1930's. In May, 1944, the bridge was reopened after "long drawn-out repair work." In 1984 the entire super-structure was replaced in a unique way-a reproduction of the old bridge using modern materials and methods-down to replacement bridge plaques with a 1984 date. The bridge was closed again in April, 2020 for "significant structural improvements." “improvement will rehabilitate many original components from 1898.” (Presumably mechanical and electrical components of the swing mechanism not replaced in 1984.)The bridge will be painted green as a result of ranked-choice voting of Fair Haven citizens. The bridge work is expected to take about 18 months.


Swing bridge over Quinnipiac River on Grand Avenue in Fair Haven
New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut
Under construction
Future prospects
Closed April, 2020 for 2years for "significant structural improvements"
Built 1896-1898; reconstructed 1984
- Berlin Iron Bridge Co. of East Berlin, Connecticut
- H.C.Keith and C.W.Kelly Design Engineers
Swing bridge composed of two back-to-back Pratt through trusses.
Length of largest span: 205.0 ft.
Total length: 315.0 ft.
Deck width: 34.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 17.4 ft.
Listed as a contributing resource to the Quinnipiac River Historic District
Also called
Dragon Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.30893, -72.88777   (decimal degrees)
41°18'32" N, 72°53'16" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/676814/4575203 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Haven
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
CT 3810 (Connecticut bridge number)
BH 12175 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 72.8 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 13, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • July 12, 2020: New photos from Chester Gehman
  • July 12, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • July 5, 2018: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • July 5, 2018: Updated by Chester Gehman: Corrected city to New Haven
  • August 20, 2015: New photo from Luke
  • May 22, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • July 20, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • March 19, 2011: New Street View added by J.P.


  • Luke
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Douglas Butler
  • Chester Gehman - gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs


Grand Avenue Bridge
Posted August 27, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I have discovered that this bridge was not rehabilitated in 1984. It was DEMOLISHED AND REPLACED with a BOLTED bridge with similar design details. 100% all-new steel on the bridge, and even the plaques overhead read 1984. While the bridge might have some marginal interpretive value, it is NOT HISTORIC.

Grand Avenue Bridge
Posted May 30, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This article suggests that instead of demolition, this bridge might be repaired instead, starting late 2019.


Grand Avenue Bridge
Posted July 4, 2018, by Ed Stannard (edsjr72 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The location of the bridge is listed as East Haven, probably because that’s what the link says. But the bridge actually connects the Fair Haven and Fair Haven Heights neighborhoods of New Haven. It is not in East Haven at all.