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Upper Pacific Mills Bridge

Moseley Wrought Iron Arch Bridge

Upper Pacific Mills Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): C. Hanchey, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr.com/photos/21953562@N07/

Bridge Documented: August 4, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over College Pond
North Andover: Essex County, Massachusetts: United States
Structure Type
Metal Tied Bowstring Through Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1864 By Builder/Contractor: Moseley Iron Bridge and Roof Company of Boston, Massachusetts

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
96 Feet (29.3 Meters)
Structure Length
96 Feet (29.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is one of the only surviving patented Thomas Moseley iron arch bridges in existence, and it has been preserved on the grounds of Merrimack College. The bridge is a bowstring truss/arch bridge. Typically bridges of this general overall design are called bowstring truss bridges, but often share a lot in common with arch bridges as well. However, this design lacks diagonal members and perhaps tips the scale more in favor of the arch category rather than the truss category. Even the patent for this bridge design is titled as a "truss bridge" but described in the details as being composed of "arches." Indeed, this only illustrates how unusual and highly significant this bridge is. It is among the oldest metal bridges in America and represents the period of experimentation in the development of iron bridges. It was moved off its previous location at at Upper Pacific Mills in Lawrence in 1989 and put in storage. It was restored at the college and opened to pedestrians in 1995.

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Moseley Bridge Patents

Above: Thomas Moseley. Photo Courtesy Frank Griggs.

Above: Historical photo showing bridge at its previous location over the North Canal in Lawrence. Photo Courtesy Frank Griggs.

Above: HAER Photo showing the bridge in its previous location.

Above: HAER Photo showing the bridge in its previous location.

Above: HAER Photo showing the bridge in storage.



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