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North Avenue Bridge

North Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 13, 2008
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
North Avenue Over Merritt Parkway (CT-15)
Westport: Fairfield County, Connecticut: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Rigid-Frame, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1939 By Builder/Contractor: Peter Mitchell Construction Company of Greenwich, Connecticut

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
63.8 Feet (19.45 Meters)
Structure Length
66.9 Feet (20.39 Meters)
Roadway Width
26.2 Feet (7.99 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For The Merritt Parkway

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Drawings, High Resolution PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

About The Merritt Parkway

The Merritt Parkway, the first divided limited access highway in Connecticut, is one of the most unique and historically significant highways in the United States. The roadway was designed to combine the beauty of a parkway with the function of a limited access highway. As such, it is an early example of a limited access highway, and a unique example of one which also includes aesthetics as a major design consideration. This design consideration is no more clear than it is with the bridges of the Merritt Parkway. Each bridge is unique, with no two bridges identical. While some other early parkways and limited access highways included aesthetic design in their bridges, the Merritt Parkway stands out as a large, complete, and well-preserved example. In addition, its bridges display a far wider diversity in design and aesthetic treatment from bridge to bridge than other similar roadways which the Merritt Parkway might be compared to. A large number of the bridges on the Merritt Parkway remain today well-preserved and not demolished. However it is true that some bridges have been demolished and replaced, some mimicking the original bridge's design, and others do not.

About The Bridge

This bridge is one of the many historic bridges along the Merritt Parkway. Each one has unique architectural detailing that is extensive enough that it is often hard to remember that most bridges are all the same bridge type, a concrete rigid frame. The few other bridge types include steel frame/deck girder, and concrete arch. This bridge's arch ring is spalling but otherwise the bridge retains excellent historic integrity and has not been altered. A repair project to restore this bridge and correct the spalling should be carefully executed so as not to disturb the historic integrity of the bridge. This bridge stands out among the Merritt Parkway Bridge largely due to its ornate metal railing panels. While a few other parkway bridges have metal railings, most are concrete.

HistoricBridges.org Merritt Parkway Bridge Documentation

In 2008, HistoricBridges.org traveled the Merritt Parkway and using a high-speed DSLR camera, collected a series of elevation overview photos of a large portion of the historic Merritt Parkway overpass bridges, taken from a moving car. Time constraints did not allow for a full photo-documentation of the bridges. As such, only a handful of photos for each bridge is currently available on this website. These photos help document the historic Merritt Parkway as a whole, and provide a framework for a full photo-documentation of the Merritt Parkway Bridges in the future, and also compliment the existing Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) documentation for the Merritt Parkway and its bridges. HAER has already completed an extensive documentation which includes measured drawings of the bridges and a massive 100+ page historical narrative, all contained within HAER's Merritt Parkway page. The link is available above. In addition, HAER also completed individual documentation for many of the bridge structures on the Merritt Parkway.

The HistoricBridges.org HSR Rating applies to the bridge structure as an individual structure, and does not consider its significance as a part of the Merritt Parkway highway and associated greater group of bridges. The HSR Rating would be much higher for each bridge if this were taken into account, since the Merritt Parkway is one of the most important historic highways in the country, and the bridges are one of the main parts of the highway.


Photos and Videos: North Avenue Bridge

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