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Main Street Bridge

   


Main Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 13, 2008
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Main Street Over Powwow River
Location
Amesbury: Essex County, Massachusetts
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1891 By Builder/Contractor: Boston Bridge Works of Boston, Massachusetts

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1998
Main Span Length
104 Feet (31.7 Meters)
Structure Length
110 Feet (33.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
22.3 Feet (6.8 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
A070092YADOTNBI

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 Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) Inventory Forms For This Historic Bridge

This bridge is a very rare and unusual example of a small swing bridge. Most swing bridges are much longer than this one is. As such, the bridge has an odd, short appearance which makes the bridge unique, and noteworthy. Its small size is due to the relatively small river it crosses. Large boats would never have traversed the Powwow River. This bridge is also noteworthy of an early example of a truss bridge with riveted connections. Boston Bridge Works was a pioneer in using all rigid (riveted) connections in truss bridges. Boston Bridge Works was very prolific in the state, and Massachusetts has an unusual number of truss bridges with very early riveted connections. Sadly, this bridge was altered severely in a poorly executed preservation project. The entire flooring system was destroyed and replaced with steel stringers, to which the trusses were bolted on. The trusses do not function and are merely decorations. While this solution is better than complete demolition and replacement, it is generally a highly undesirable alteration, especially when it includes destroying the flooring system. For a bridge as unusual and significant as this bridge, it would have been nicer to see a more sensitive preservation project.

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Photos and Videos: Main Street Bridge

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