This bridge is one of the only examples in the country of a Belidor type of bascule bridge. This unusual type of bascule has a curved tower on which counterweights can roll, while pulling a cable attached to the bascule leaf, which raises the bridge. The bascule type was also built in Australia, where it is known as the "American" type of bascule. One one operable example is known to remain in the United States, the Glimmer Glass Bridge. The historical photo of a long-lost Belidor bascule in New York City is shown to the right in partially raised position, illustrating how the bascule operates. The Wadsworth Street Bridge no longer operates and indeed all of the machinery including counterweights and cables have been removed. All that remains is the the superstructure with its fixed traditional Pratt through truss span, the small single leaf pony truss bascule span, and the unusually shaped counterweight tower/track, which also doubles as a through truss approach span. The trunnions remain in place on the bascule span as well. Despite this massive loss of operating equipment, given the rarity of this bridge type, with only the aforementioned Glimmer Glass Bridge remaining in operable condition, the Wadsworth Street Bridge must still be assigned a high level of historic significance. Also, it should be noted that the Glimmer Glass Bridge, although operable, suffers from a substantial loss of original bridge material. Much has been replaced. In contrast, while the mechanics are lost on the Wadsworth Street Bridge, the structure that remains is largely in its original condition and design, and thus unaltered.
Information and Findings From Maine's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1925-28 bridge was designed and built as a rolling counterweight bascule bridge. The operating mechanism, operators shanty, and counterweights and guys have been lost, but the rolling counterweight design is
so rare that the integrity issues are considered secondary to the significance of the bridge type. The towers, trunnions, and counterweight track remain making it clear what type of bridge this was. Rolling counterweight bridges
date to the late 18th century in France. The Wadsworth Street bridge is historically and technologically significant as representing the rare and distinctive rolling counterweight bridge type. There were once several rolling
counterweight bascule bridges in the state, but all of the others have been completely lost.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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