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Androscoggin Swinging Bridge

Brunswick-Topsham Swinging Bridge

Androscoggin Swinging Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: August 19, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Androscoggin River
Location
Brunswick and Topsham: Cumberland County, Maine: United States
Structure Type
Metal Wire Cable Suspension, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1892 By Builder/Contractor: John A. Roebling Sons Company of Trenton, New Jersey

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2006
Main Span Length
332 Feet (101.19 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
6 Feet (1.83 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This is an impressive suspension foot bridge. Like many such structures, this bridge is known as a "swinging bridge," a name that many suspension foot bridges take on because they are not designed to be as stiff as a vehicular suspension bridge and they often move noticeably under the weight of people walking on them. 

This bridge has a colorful history that comes at the cost of historic integrity. To say this is an altered bridge is an understatement. The construction date is listed as 1892, and this is when the bridge was first built. Its purpose was to let people who lives in Topsham to get to Cabot Mill in Brunswick. The original bridge had timber towers. In the early 1900s, the timber towers were demolished with riveted steel towers. In 1936, a flood destroyed the stiffening system and deck of the bridge, but left the 1892 cables and the early 1900s tower intact. A new deck and stiffening system was installed using federal Depression era relief funds. Finally, in 2007, miscellaneous rehabilitation of the bridge was undertaken. According to the Brunswick Downtown Association, the cables on the bridge are the original 1892 cables. Assuming this is true, the has three different construction dates for major parts of the bridge.

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