Noted for its dry-laid stone substructure, this is reportedly the only known example in the world of a cribstone bridge, specially designed to allow tidal waters to pass through. The main span is a concrete t-beam bridge. The long approach is the portion supported by the stone crib, which is capped off with a concrete slab deck.
Information and Findings From Maine's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
Although the main span of the granite crib bridge is a T beam, and it is typed accordingly. It was designed in 1926 by the first state bridge engineer, Llewellyn Edwards. For a long bridge located in a tidal setting, Edwards brilliantly devised a granite crib through which the tide could ebb and flow. The bridge is apparently unique in the United States, but it is reportedly inspired by similar but now non-extant bridges in Scotland. Although certainly something of an experiment, Edwards had well justified reasons for building such an unusual structure, and it had everything to do with location. For all but a narrow channel, the bridge would rest on a rock shelf and never be more than a few feet below water at low tide, but the tide itself had a very strong current. The weight of the granite slabs would be enough to withstand the tide, but the openings between them would allow the tide to flow freely without greatly increasing its velocity. Furthermore, there was an excellent granite quarry nearby. The bridge is considered as Edwards most important work in the state. The bridge has been designated a national ASCE landmark. It is an exceptional preservation priority because it is a unique and successful design by a noted early 20th century bridge engineer.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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