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Hartwell Street Railroad Bridge


Hartwell Street Railroad Bridge

Photo from MACRIS Database

View this photo at mhc-macris.net

BH Photo #323260


"As identified by Mass. Department of Public Works Historic Bridge Specialist, Stephen J. Roper, the Hartwell Street Bridge is one of only eight known surviving timber pony truss bridges in Massachusetts. Constructed in 1908, the bridge is tied for fourth oldest of the eight. This example is one of five surviving constructed for the B&M Railroad in the multiple-kingrod configuration. "This was a very common bridge type in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, " Roper writes, "but examples in Massachusetts are fast disappearing."

The original bridge at this location was built for the Worcester & Nashua Railroad, completed in 1848. The span was lengthened in 1874 to accommodate a second track beneath the bridge, and the abutments may date to this period. The present superstructure was constructed in 1908. "The B&M built overhead highway bridges of similar wooden pony-truss design from the 19th into the early 20th century, long after most other railroads had switched to all-metal bridges."

According to B&M records, this bridge underwent a major rebuild in 1932 with new floorbeams, deck, stringers, hangers, sway braces, and board covering for trusses. The trusses themselves are apparently unaltered." - Peter Stott, 12/1985


Warren pony truss bridge over BMRR on Hartwell Street in West Boylston
West Boylston, Worcester County, Massachusetts
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1908; replaced 1996
- Boston & Maine Railroad (BM)
Kingpost pony truss
Length of largest span: 43.0 ft.
Total length: 44.9 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.34139, -71.77083   (decimal degrees)
42°20'29" N, 71°46'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/271748/4691400 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Worcester North
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
MA W17006 (Massachusetts bridge number)
BH 19487 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 45.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 22, 2015: Updated by Ian Martin: Merged MACRIS Info.
  • June 29, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Replaced by a modern welded pony truss
  • June 23, 2014: Updated by Chester Gehman: Warren Truss