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University Avenue Bridge

Jack Kerouac Textile Memorial Bridge

University Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 12, 2008
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
University Avenue Over Merrimack River
Lowell: Middlesex County, Massachusetts: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1895 By Builder/Contractor: Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York and Engineer/Design: John E. Cheney

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
180 Feet (54.86 Meters)
Structure Length
486 Feet (148.13 Meters)
Roadway Width
36.7 Feet (11.19 Meters)
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

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

This rare historic bridge was demolished and replaced in 2014!

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

This bridge is a beautiful, rare example of a pre-1900 pin-connected highway deck truss bridge. The bridge's deck has been altered, but the important trusses below retain excellent historic integrity. Despite the bridge's obvious historic significance, this bridge is being replaced with demolition to occur at the conclusion of the project. Lowell has maintained and preserved some of its other historic truss bridges, but preservation should not now be abandoned before the University Avenue Bridge. The replacement bridge is being built on a new alignment. The historic bridge is not in the way of its replacement. This is an obvious scenario for preserving the the historic bridge in place next to its replacement bridge for pedestrian use. Since it connects a university, it is likely to assume that a non-motorized crossing would find frequent use. Demolishing this bridge with the replacement bridge on new alignment is nothing more than pointless destruction of history and a waste of taxpayer dollars.


Photos and Videos: University Avenue Bridge

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