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Perkins Cove Bridge


Perkins Cove Bridge

Foot bridge

Photo taken by Douglas Butler in April 2013


BH Photo #292947

Street Views 


A sailboat with a tall mast nears a pedestrian drawbridge at Perkins Cove, near Ogunquit, Maine. Will the boat make it through?

James A. Martin

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From http://www.ogunquit.org/ogunquitHistory.php

The Perkins Cove wooden footbridge, overlooking one of the loveliest little harbors in the Maine coast and spanning the narrow entrance to the port, is perhaps the only double-leaf draw-footbridge in the United States. It can provide, with both leaves raised, a clear waterway width of over 40 feet, while a vertical clearance of 16 feet at high water permits many of the smaller craft to enter and leave the harbor without raising the bridge at all. Until recently the longer section was the only one being used and had to be raised by hand. The second half was added because so many larger vessels were soon seeking entry into this snug, sheltered harbor.

The drawbridge has a two-part span, either side of which can be raised independently of the other; the smaller of the two “draws” is cranked up and down by hand. The bridge was originally built at a cost of $12,979 and was financed by the Ogunquit Village Corporation, which appropriated $1,000 from its Perkins Cove account; the remainder came from unappropriated surpluses.

The design of the bridge is simple: two main piers composed of creosoted wood piling, bolted and bound together with steel cable. Extra independent pilings are placed upstream of the main piers to fend off heavy cakes of ice, which come down the Josias River in winter. An icebreaker has been maintained by the village to keep the harbor clear year ‘round.

Operation of the drawbridge is the duty of the harbormaster or his deputy, but if neither is at hand, any available lobsterman or fisherman is glad to do the job. Actually, many a summer visitor has accommodated boats entering or leaving by operating the drawbridge with a button located on the bridge itself. Children, especially, race to the center of the bridge, their fingers at the ready on the control button, hoping a high-masted boat will necessitate the raising of the bridge.

Occasionally bridge operation is left to itself when the lobster and fishing boats arrive from a day’s work laden with catch. Maine boasts of having the best lobster in the world, and lobstermen harvest over 56 million pounds a year (2007 statistic). Many say that lobster preparation in Maine, and especially in Ogunquit, has been raised to a fine art.


Concrete deck girder bridge over Perkins Cove on Pedestrain Traffic
Ogunquit, York County, Maine
Open to pedestrians only
Originally built 1941, believed to have been rebuilt since
Concrete deck girder double bascule draw
Length of largest span: 40.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.23632, -70.59058   (decimal degrees)
43°14'11" N, 70°35'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/370851/4788286 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
York Beach
Inventory number
BH 62851 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 9, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 29, 2021: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • June 15, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • June 17, 2016: New video from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • May 23, 2016: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • September 3, 2014: New Street View added by Douglas Butler