9 votes

Highgate Falls Bridge





BH Photo #212078


Street Views 


Located in northern VT is this well preserved 2 span lenticular truss bridge that is an outstanding example of preservation of a historic bridge. Built in 1887 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. to replace an earlier wooden structure, this bridge employees a large through truss span and also a smaller pony approach span. The bridge is located high over the river, giving a beautiful setting. Thankfully this bridge retains an outstanding amount of historical integrity, and was one of the first major preservation projects of the Vermont Historic Bridge Program. This bridge is a perfect example of how a historical bridge can be bypassed and preserved, and should serve as a model for other significant bridges.

The main span is a 13 panel truss with a length of 215 feet, making it the longest single span lenticular truss remaining with Pratt truss webbing built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co.. While longer spans are extant employing the lenticular truss, these examples utilize a Warren web, and reached lengths of up to 280 feet. Also its important to note that this is the longest extant single span with Pratt webbing, as there are records of longer spans then this having been made. Perhaps because of its longer length this bridge exhibits a quite strong construction, with boxed built up members being used on all compression members.

The approach span is a 5 panel pony truss, and exhibits the typical features of a later Berlin Iron Bridge Co. pony truss, such as bolted (instead of pinned) endposts and tapered vertical posts. At 80ft this is a pretty significant length, but certainly not the longest example made.

The bridge, as noted, retains a excellent amount of historical integrity, with no obvious modifications to the bridge. Decorative details common to Berlin Iron Bridges (such as cast iron finials, portal cresting, railings, and builders plaque are all still in place (although there has been some loss of portal cresting and finials)). The deck has been removed and replaced with a narrower pedestrian walkway, but this doesn't represent a major loss as the wooden deck had been replaced at some point before abandonment with a metal grating deck (The stringers are gone, but the original fish-belly floor-beams are still in place.)


Pin connected Lenticular through truss bridge over Missisquoi River on Mill Hill Rd
Highgate, Franklin County, Vermont
Open to pedestrians
Built 1887 by Berlin Iron Bridge Co.; Bypassed 1976; Rehabilitated for pedestrian use in 2000
- Berlin Iron Bridge Co. of East Berlin, Connecticut
wrought iron pin connected Lenticular Through Truss with a lenticular pony truss approach span
Length of largest span: 215.0 ft.
Total length: 295.0 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 21, 1974
Also called
Jarvis-Douglas Patent Parabolic Truss Iron Bridge
Highgate Parabolic Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.93440, -73.04760   (decimal degrees)
44°56'04" N, 73°02'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/654054/4977517 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Highgate Center
Inventory numbers
NRHP 74000213 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 49484 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 2, 2019: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • June 22, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • March 6, 2017: New photos from Michael Quiet
  • July 15, 2014: New photos from Michael Quiet
  • May 24, 2014: New photos from Michael Quiet
  • April 28, 2014: New photos from Michael Quiet
  • April 21, 2014: Updated by Michael Quiet: Added categories "Pin-connected", "Wrought Iron"
  • February 8, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Jarvis-Douglas Parabolic Truss"
  • September 2, 2011: New photo from Ben Tate
  • September 2, 2011: Added by James McCray



Highgate Falls Bridge
Posted September 2, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

WOW! Unique example of a Lenticular through and pony truss together.

Highgate Falls Bridge
Posted September 2, 2011, by Ben Tate
Highgate Falls Bridge
Posted September 2, 2011, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I do not believe this. This is crazy. I was randomly looking at Google for bridges, especially ones that were in VT, and came across this one and found out that it was not even listed on this site! What else is amazing is the fact that, other than the NRHP info, I could not find much other information about this bridge. So, here it is, please help!