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Richmond-Dresden Bridge

Maine Kennebec Bridge

   


Richmond-Dresden Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 15, 2012
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
ME-197 (Ferry Road, Patterson Road) Over Kennebec River
Location
Richmond: Sagadahoc County, Maine and Lincoln County, Maine
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Movable: Swing (Center Bearing Center Pier) and Approach Spans: Metal Rivet-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Company of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1988
Main Span Length
177.2 Feet (54 Meters)
Structure Length
1239 Feet (377.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 9 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
2506

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

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

This historic bridge is slated for demolition and replacement by MaineDOT as soon as 2013!

This bridge with a total of five through truss spans, this bridge is among the longer of Maine's surviving riveted metal truss bridges. One of the spans is also a swing span. Designed in a stylistically similar manner as the fixed spans, the swing span would be nearly impossible to pick out if it were not for the swing pier under the center of the span and the bridge tender house. The bridge also features continuous steel stringer approach spans. The bridge was built in 1931, but in the March 1936 flood, a mere five years after the bridge was built three spans were lost. They appear to have been reconstructed in kind, as it is not apparent which spans might date to after 1936.

Maine only has a small number of remaining movable bridges. Among Maine's swing bridges, this is one of the largest swing spans. The bridge is also noteworthy as a long, multi-span truss bridge in Maine. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Despite this significance, the bridge is slated for demolition and replacement. Reasons given for demolition include structural deterioration and narrow roadway width. The structure deterioration could be corrected through rehabilitation instead. Another solution would be to leave the historic bridge standing next to a new replacement bridge. If needed, the swing span could be left in the open position to allow boats through. Even with the swing span open, the bridge could function as a scenic outlook for pedestrians and perhaps a fishing pier.

Information and Findings From Maine's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The center bearing, thru truss swing span bridge is historically and technologically significant as one of the state's two remaining thru truss swing span bridges. It was built in 1930-31 by a private toll bridge commission. The thru truss swing span and two other truss spans were lost in the 1936 flood. They were replaced in kind in 1937. The electrical operating system and center bearing were replaced 1988-1992. It is complete and operable, and it represents a movable bridge type that was once common in Maine and the nation. It is a later example, and its significance is derived primarily on the rareness of the significant bridge type/design. The fact that it is operable is an important aspect of its significance. The other thru truss swing span bridge is the 1939 Southport bridge. The bridge is judged to be a high preservation priority because it is a large, complicated example of a bridge type/design that is becoming rare in the state, and it is one of only two remaining thru truss swing span bridges in the state. The third truss swing span bridge in Maine is a pony truss.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photos and Videos: Richmond-Dresden Bridge

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Structure Details
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A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
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Structure Overview
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View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
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