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Alcoa Road Bridge

Alcoa Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 21, 2000 and April 7, 2018

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Alcoa Road Over Grasse River (Grass River)
Location
Massena: St. Lawrence County, New York: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1923 By Builder/Contractor: Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Jarrett-Chambers Company of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
224.7 Feet (68.49 Meters)
Structure Length
773 Feet (235.61 Meters)
Roadway Width
18.4 Feet (5.61 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
3221420

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

Bridge Status: Demolished and replaced in 2002.

Constructed in 1923, this bridge was an early surviving example of a highway cantilever through truss bridge in New York State when it was demolished in 2002. The demolition of this beautiful and rare historic bridge represented a devastating loss of transportation heritage. As if to rub salt in the wound, the replacement bridge was made to look extremely ugly. And it is unclear if they thought this was somehow honoring the historic bridge, but on the replacement bridge giant concrete pillars were included and on top of these the little decorative finials from the historic bridge were placed. While it is nice to see some original bridge material surviving, the way it was mounted on the replacement bridge looks hideous. The finials look out of place, these tiny remnants of beauty and heritage mounted on a horrific, ugly modern concrete slab. Indeed, the presentation calls to mind grotesque displays of French soldiers during the French Revolution, who marched around with the heads of the slain mounted on pikes. It is almost like the bridge engineers, proud in their defeat and destruction of a beautiful historic bridge, mounted the finials on the replacement bridge like the French mounted heads on a spike. A comparative illustration is shown below.

Above: On a side note, a long time ago, there was a rare Belidor bascule bridge in this area as shown in this postcard. It too is long-gone.

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