This bridge is one of only three known examples of continuous trusses in Maine that display the appearance of a very long simple span truss supported by piers. In this design, the truss has no "cantilever truss shape." Continuous trusses of this design are also extremely rare nationwide. Each of Maine's three examples of this design are distinctly unique, each employing different truss arrangements. Despite that fact, all three were built at around the same time. It is unknown why there is such a variance in design. The other two bridges are the West Buxton Bridge and the Bar Mills Bridge. Because each bridge is rare, both in Maine and nationwide, and given the unique appearance of each, the preservation of each example should be given a high priority. The Lisbon Falls Bridge is perhaps the most unusual of these three continuous truss bridges.
The Lisbon Falls Bridge has two truss spans (as opposed to the West Buxton and Bar Mills Bridges which have three spans). What is most unusual about the Lisbon Falls Bridge is that it is asymmetrical. The single pier is not located at the center of the bridge; the southern truss span is significantly shorter than the northern truss span. Another unusual feature is the stringer approach span at the northern end. East of the bridge, the road makes an immediate 90 degree turn to the west. To accommodate this sharp turn, the stringer span is flared, being noticeably wider at the northern end than the southern end. This is visible just by looking at the roadway, but is also vivid when viewing the stringers under the bridge. The stringer span passes over an enormous boulder or rock outcropping along the river bank.
The previous bridge at this location is documented in postcards. It consisted of two simple truss spans. Each span rested on an extremely large stone pier that was long enough that is separated the spans, making them look like two bridges. One span was a double-intersection Warren through truss, while the other was a smaller Warren truss. The bridge was destroyed in a flood, and the bridge seen today was the replacement bridge.
Information and Findings From Maine's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1936, continuous, riveted, Warren thru truss bridge is technologically significant as an early application of the continuous design. The first examples in Maine were for replacements of bridges lost in the
flood of March, 1936. This is one of 25 bridges built by MSHC to replace lost bridges, and it is one of three continuous-design Warren truss bridges built by the commission in 1936-37 as flood replacement bridges. All three early
examples, including #3340 and #3333, are historically and technologically significant. The significance of the bridge is linked to the continuous design. The bridge crosses the river at a 90-degree angle to the highways that
parallel the river.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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