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MBTA - Upper Shawsheen River Bridge


Stone RR Bridge Over the Shawsheen River

Photo taken by weirdpix

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

View this photo at panoramio.com

BH Photo #337235


"This stone arch is dated to 1847 by the Andover Historical Society Newsletter. It is constructed of coursed ashlar blocks and has concave abutments. It carries one track although it was constructed to carry two. A concrete cap that rests on the top of the bridge must have been added when the grade level was raised. This bridge is located within the Shawsheen Valley Multiple Resource Area and retains its natural setting." -P.K. Lazrus, MBTA Historical Property Survey Phase II, 11/1987


In 2013, this bridge and its northern twin were reconstructed with a deck girder span being installed above the arch to act as the load-bearing mechanism. The arches were preserved below, but are not load-bearing.


Stone arch bridge over Shawsheen River on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Essex County, Massachusetts
Open to traffic
Built 1847, reconstructed with steel superstructure 2013
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- Boston & Maine Railroad (BM)
- Commuter Rail
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
- Pan Am Railways (PAR)
Stone arch
Length of largest span: 30.0 ft.
Deck width: 48.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Upper Shawsheen Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.61955, -71.16001   (decimal degrees)
42°37'10" N, 71°09'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/322855/4720829 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 69083 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 27, 2016: Updated by Ian Martin: Added build date & dimensions
  • February 27, 2016: Updated by Luke: Updated status per forum comment.
  • September 6, 2015: Added by Dave King

Related Bridges 



MBTA - Shawsheen River Bridge
Posted February 27, 2016, by John C (jcitron [at] krpartners [dot] com)

Status is active as this is the mainline from Boston to Portland and serves the MBTA Commuter Rail Haverhill line and Amtrak's Downeaster along with Pan AM Railways for freight between Portland and points west.

This line is being re-double-tracked after having been reduced to single track in the mid-1970s when the MBTA first took over the commuter rail service. With the increase in traffic, the second track is being added back in between Wilmington Jct. and Frye (Shawsheen Village).